Johannesburg – South Africa’s local currency was relatively unchanged after lunchtime on Friday, despite thousands taking part in an anti-Zuma protest.
Thousands of people from all walks of live marhed across SA on Friday to request President Jacob Zuma’s removal.
Marches were – based on social media accounts – mostly peaceful, although there were reports of rubber bullets being fired outside ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg.
Hundreds of people formed human chains and blocked roads in city centres and small towns across the country.
However, this seems to have had little effect on the rand, which was trading at R13.77 just after 1pm on Friday.
Reuters earlier on Friday reported that the currency was at R13.75 to the dollar just before 7am, which it said wasn’t far off its New York close on Thursday.
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The protests were triggered by SA’s credit rating being dropped to junk by S&P on Monday. That move, in turn, was precipitated by Zuma firing 9 of his Cabinet ministers, including the internationally respected then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, in a late night shuffle the preceding Thursday night.
Moody’s has also put SA on review for a potential downgrade, which may be announced on Friday.
The rand has lost about 10 percent of its value since Zuma recalled Gordhan from an international investor roadshow to the US and UK on March 27.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE