Cape Town - The rand strengthened slightly on Tuesday afternoon, on news that the State of the Nation Address has been postponed.
After National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete made the announcement at about 14:40, the local unit gained 5 cents to the US dollar, strengthening from R12.09/$ to R12.04 to the greenback.
However, by 15:00 it still had not breached the R12.00/$ level.
The local currency hit a low of R12.18/$ in early morning trade, caused in part by dollar strength.
Wichard Cilliers, currency dealer at TreasuryOne, said in the wake of the postponement that markets are waiting to see if the ANC National Executive Committee, the party's highest decision making body between conferences, is going to recall President Jacob Zuma.
"We can possibly see the ZAR test back to the R11.80s if the president does get recalled," he said.
New date to be announced
Mbete made a statement on the SONA postponement on the steps of Parliament.
In a media release, Parliament's presiding officers said the address is being postponed because there is "little likelihood of an uneventful joint sitting of Parliament this coming Thursday".
"With this in mind, we decided to approach the President of the Republic to propose that we postpone the joint sitting in order to create room for establishing a much more conducive political atmosphere in Parliament.
'When we met the President, we then learnt that he was already writing to Parliament to ask for the postponement of SONA," it read.
A new date has not yet been announced. Parliament said the postponement would take into account scheduled tabling of the National Budget.
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