Johannesburg — South Africa’s rand weakened early on Tuesday after President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a new electricity minister to try to solve the country’s worst power cuts on record and added other allies to the cabinet ahead of elections next year.
At 0705 GMT, the rand traded at 18.2800 against the dollar, 0.11% weaker than its previous close.
ETM Analytics had forecast markets would not respond positively to the reshuffle, saying in a note “it offers no fresh strategy to deal with any of the crises South Africa is currently facing”.
Cabinet changes had been widely expected since Ramaphosa was re-elected leader of the governing African National Congress (ANC) at a party leadership contest in December, paving the way for him to run for a second term in 2024.
In a televised address to the nation, Ramaphosa said he had chosen Kgosientsho Ramokgopa for the newly created role of electricity minister and appointed the ANC’s No. 2 official, Paul Mashatile, as deputy president.
Later in the session, the focus will be on South Africa’s fourth-quarter gross domestic product figures, which are due at 0930 GMT.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect a quarter-on-quarter contraction of 0.4% and a year-on-year expansion of 2.2%, a decrease from the previous quarter’s figures.
The government’s benchmark 2030 bond was slightly weaker in early deals, with the yield up 1.5 basis points to 10.130%.
*Anait Miridzhanian; Editing: Andrew Heavens – Reuters
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