The rand weakened against major global currencies on Wednesday afternoon‚ after a report by Reuters said that the ANC national executive committee (NEC) would not be discussing the removal of South African President Jacob Zuma as head of state at its meeting today.
“That matter was not [up] for any discussion or debate‚” newly elected ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told reporters in response to a question about whether Zuma’s future was raised.
Recent events had indicated that the market had not entirely priced in Zuma’s exit‚ which was expected after reports last week that he would be recalled if he did not voluntarily resign before today’s meeting.
There could be a less high-profile meeting of the NEC next week where a more serious discussion about Zuma leaving would be held‚ a senior party member said.
The rand could gain up to 50c against the dollar shortly after such an event‚ said Standard Bank analyst Warrick Butler.
The local currency had firmed 13c on Tuesday following a report that Zuma was out. However‚ the confusion arose from the launch of a satellite — also called Zuma — by SpaceX‚ a company owned by South African-born businessman Elon Musk.
At 3pm‚ the rand was at R12.4743 to the dollar from R12.3403‚ at R14.9652 to the euro from R14.7315 and at R16.8694 to the pound from R16.7083.
The euro was at $1.1997 from $1.1937.