South African rand firmer, stocks set to open higher

South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies says worldwide investors have a more optimistic view of the country following the recent political leadership changes in December 2017.South Africa's ruling African National Congress replaced ANC president Jacob Zuma with his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa at the party elective conference in December.

Ramaphosa was speaking in an interview with Zeinab Badawi on the BBC current affairs programme Hardtalk on Thursday.

"We have excess power right now and we have no money to go for major nuclear plant building".

"Investors have a much more optimistic view of South Africa than past year", he said, adding that South Africa has had a stable political transition and that there is a strong commitment to address the issue of state capture (corruption). While Zuma's second term is due to end in mid-2019, and the ANC has said its newly elected top six leaders will determine when he should step down.

"We see it as a great base".

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"You have a lot of the rand hedges, the likes of British American Tobacco all weaker this week mainly being tied down by a firmer rand", said GT247 trader Paul Chakaduka.

He said that Zuma was "naturally feeling anxious" about the transition of political power in South Africa.

"Everyone agrees our state was captured by corrupt elements, by people who purported to be close to the president, who have been doing really bad things and getting into many state institutions", he said.

"Any normal human being would be anxious, would be concerned about all this", he said, adding that the president wants matters to be handled "carefully". "My key interest is about moving South Africa forward".

Ramaphosa took over from Zuma as head of the ruling ANC party in December, and Zuma is under increasing pressure to resign from the presidency. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

  • Darren Santiago