|Off with their heads!
31 March 2017
Commentary by Gareth Frye
President Zuma kept us waiting till near midnight, before revealing the damage (that’s no April fools joke!). It was more chainsaw than guillotine, with 10 ministers and 10 deputies axed and or shuffled around. Finance Minister Gordhan is gone, along with his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. Malusi Gigaba is the replacement, with Sifiso Buthelezi his deputy. It’s a cabinet filled with Zuma supporters; an unknown quantity that will leave markets on edge. The key questions are: Will there be a backlash within the ANC? Are we going to see any ministers resigning in protest? What will the rating agencies say? Does the pending ‘no confidence’ vote in parliament have a chance on passing (50% plus 1 vote required)? When will we hear from the new Finance Minister and what will he say?
So far the rand has managed to avoid a total free-fall. How we proceed from here will depend largely on how some of the key questions pan out during the week ahead.