Jacob Zuma is causing turmoil in financial markets and unwittingly throwing a lifeline to his country’s struggling gold industry. Mr Zuma’s decision to fire respected finance minister Nhlanhla Nene drove the rand to a record low, instantly reducing labour and other costs in the local currency for mining companies, relative to the US dollars they earn by selling gold. A weak rand offers relief to an industry plagued by labour unrest, ageing mines and power shortages. Gavin Wood comments.
The signing of 26 agreements worth R94 billion by the Chinese and SA governments on Wednesday present an opportunity for the skewed trade relations and perceptions between the two countries to be addressed. The trade balance favours China as more than 90 percent of SA’s top 10 exports to China are in raw materials, while all of the country’s top 10 imports from China are manufactured products. Abdul Davids comments.