Cape Town – The rand headed for its biggest weekly slide since 2015, after the firing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan raised concerns about the country’s fiscal path and its investment-grade credit rating.
President Jacob Zuma is replacing Gordhan with Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, the Presidency said in a statement on Friday. African National Congress MP Sfiso Buthelezi will replace Gordhan’s deputy, Mcebisi Jonas.
The rand was one of the top three emerging-market currencies last year and early 2017, but politics are again casting a cloud over the nation’s assets. Gordhan had fended off a downgrade in South Africa’s rating to junk, and his commitment to curb spending and government debt had endeared him to investors. He clashed with Zuma over the affordability of building nuclear power plants and the management of state-owned companies.