The rand was weaker against the dollar in late afternoon trade on Wednesday‚ after the Treasury confirmed that director-general Lungisa Fuzile was set to leave‚ sparking concern about a exodus of experienced personnel from a crucial state department.
Earlier it was reported that Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba was set to deploy 28 new ministerial staff at the department.
The rand was also under pressure following the ANC’s national working committee’s (NWC’s) decision to back President Jacob Zuma and to dismiss calls from the SACP and Cosatu for him to resign.
At 3.36pm the rand was at R13.7760 against the dollar from R13.6015. It weakened to R13.8675 earlier in the day.
The rand was at R14.6875 against the euro from R14.5074 and at R17.1786 against the pound from R16.9265.
The euro was at $1.0663 from $1.0667.
Although the rand did receive a degree of support on an intraday basis‚ there was still no evidence of a short-term trend reversal‚ analysts at Momentum SP Reid said.
Momentum said the lack of additional downside movements reflected the fact that market participants were increasingly sceptical of the strength of Zuma’s political position.
“The unfolding situation remains fluid and could well break either way‚” Momentum said.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said at a media conference that it was wrong for ANC officials to question Zuma’s firing of previous finance minister Pravin Gordhan in public.
“The party now accepts that President Zuma removed Gordhan as finance minister because of an irretrievable breakdown in their relationship‚” Mantashe said.
He said Zuma had already informed ANC leaders of his problems with Gordhan in November.