South African rand drops against dollar after surprise cabinet reshuffle

19 Oct 17

South Africa’s currency weakened shortly after the president announced on Tuesday another surprise cabinet reshuffle.

The rand dropped by 1% against the dollar yesterday following president Jacob Zuma’s announcement, Reuters reported.

The South African bonds also fell in value, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange securities exchange’s Top-40 futures index down 0.08% when the stock market opened.  

In the early hours of trading on Wednesday, the rand had weakened by 0.11% to R13.41725 per dollar compared to a close of R13.4025 overnight.

This is Zuma’s second reshuffle in seven months. He has changed six ministers, including those for home affairs, education and communications.

Finance minister Malusi Gigaba, who was appointed in the last reshuffle, remains in the role.

Investors have reported concern about South Africa’s project to add 9,600 megawatts to its existing nuclear capacity, in a contract that could be one worth billions of dollars, and the impact it may could have on the country’s public finances.

It is believed his change in energy minister is an attempt to push through the deal. 

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