DA welcomes Mandela banknotes
Johannesburg - The DA has welcomed the announcement by President Jacob Zuma on Saturday that a series of South African banknotes will bear the image of former President Nelson Mandela.
"It is an appropriate commemoration of...Mandela's contribution to the birth of democracy in South Africa, as well as his considerable positive impact on national reconciliation," Democratic Alliance MP Tim Harris said in a statement.
However, Harris said it was regrettable that such a happy announcement was made in a manner that increased uncertainty in financial and currency markets.
Earlier on Saturday, German international news agency DPA reported lack of details about the nature of the announcement which briefly spooked markets. The rand tumbled about 2.5 per cent versus the dollar.
"Traders worried that the central bank of Africa's largest economy was about to make a drastic policy or personnel change while markets were closed," DPA said.
Following reassuring remarks from bank officials, who indicated that the news would not be about interest rates or resignations, the rand made a quick rebound. Harris said the press conference was announced on a trading day but scheduled for a day the market was closed which fuelled speculative rumours.
While Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus apologised for the confusion, Harris said in future, the Reserve Bank, the National Treasury and the Presidency needed to be more "sensitive " to the impact when scheduling announcements such as these.