Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rand weakens as Zuma gives state of nation address

For those of you who don’t know (aliens, coma patients and ignorant non-South Africans) today was a day made in history as our (shower-head) president Zuma made his first state of the nation address.
There were some Cape Townians I dare say, who groggily got out of bed this very cold morning and ‘forgot’ that today was the momentous day – and for a few moments wondered why traffic was ‘the worst ever’.
But seriously, some people arrived almost two hours late for work – and we aren’t living in Joburg!
The luxury of living in Cape Town is that we don’t spend three hours a day driving to and from work.
But anyway, back to my previous point – I know that at least some people out in the world were waiting and watching with baited breath for the speech.
How do we know this?
Besides the fact that we are a great country for the press to have a dig at – lets face it, our bunch are entertaining!
But thats not all...
Our Rand weakened...
Reports said:
South Africa’s currency traded 1.1 percent weaker at 8.0375 per dollar as of 11:07 a.m. in Johannesburg, from 7.9477 yesterday.
It slipped versus all 16 most-actively traded currencies monitored by Bloomberg, losing 0.7 percent against the euro to 11.4225.

Most importantly: “The rand is waiting for direction from the state-of-the-nation address, which is widely expected to give an indication of economic policies going forward,” said Kay Walsh, an economist and currency researcher at Rand Merchant Bank in Johannesburg. “Investors are hoping for some reassuring signs from the new president.”

Our premiere Helen Zille said that she was positive about Zuma’s proposed job creation plan, but warned of the risk of the plan becoming an “ANC patronage network”.
She lauded Zuma’s recognition that social welfare should encourage people to become self-reliant, ultimately “weaning them off grants”.
She said that it was crucial that Zuma kept his pledges, particularly relating to the independence of the judiciary.

Anyway, I am not going to go into all the details of Zuma’s speech – check it out yourselves at:

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