Kathy Gibson reports from the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban – Exchange rate volatility and political instability are a major concern for international investors, and the rand has been particularly sensitive to political moves.
However, finance minister Malusi Gigaba jokes that the cabinet reshuffle was not the cause of the latest drop in the currency.
“I think the exchange rate is OK. It is quite volatile and has been for some time. But volatility is not from cabinet reshuffles because we don’t have those all the time,” he says.
“It could on occasion have to do with changes in the finance ministry – but it has always been volatile.”
Gigaba also brushed aside concerns about political instability in the country.
“South Africa is a democratic country, and holds periodic elections,” he says. “No-one should panic when these come up.
“There will be contestation in leadership, which happens everywhere else in the world. All of the leadership changes we have had, have been through a democratic processes.
“At the end of this year, the president of the ruling party will no longer be the president of the party; and in two years’ time he will no longer be president of the country.”
In fact, Gigaba says, the current political noise should give investors a level of confidence. “It shows that we are a vibrant economy and a dynamic political country.”