© Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius President Jacob Zuma during the official launch of the Invest South Africa One Stop Shop (InvestSA OSS) at the DTI campus on March 17, 2017 in Pretoria.
JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s rand traded weaker early on Monday as credit downgrades to “junk” by two ratings firms last week following the sudden firing of the finance minister continued to weigh.
Traders saw the unit slipping further in the week.
At 0645 GMT the rand had weakened 0.56% to 13.8500 per dollar following a close at 13.7725 on Friday in New York.
The rand has fallen more than 11% since March 27, when President Jacob Zuma recalled Pravin Gordhan from an investor roadshow to Britain and the United States then fired him as finance minister.
Fitch on Friday followed S&P Global Ratings and downgraded South Africa to “junk”, citing Gordhan’s dismissal as one reason.
Local assets are increasingly losing out to emerging market peers like Russia.
Stocks are set to open higher at 0700 GMT, with the JSE securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index up 0.5%.
In fixed income, the yield for the benchmark government bond due in 2026 up 6.5 basis points to 8.995%.
Meanwhile President Jacob Zuma used the 24th commemoration of Chris Hani’s death to call on South Africans to unite against racism.
“Many placards and posters displayed beliefs that we thought have been buried in 1994. It is clear that some of our white compatriots regard black people as being lesser human beings or sub-human. The racist onslaught has become more direct and is no longer hidden as was the case in the early years of our constitutional democratic order. Racists no longer fear being caught or exposed,” said Zuma.
“We call upon all freedom-loving South Africans to unite and fight racism in our country in the memory of Chris Hani. Comrade Chris Hani abhor racism and fought against it all his life. He tragically lost his life at the hands of hard core racists. It will take time but it needs to be done if we are to achieve a truly united non-racial society,” said the president.
Clive Derby-Lewis was arrested as an accomplice for lending Waluś his gun.
Hani’s death marked a turning point in South African history which was on a brink of civil war.