ANC may lose 2019 elections if Zuma does not go‚ Rand Merchant Bank report warns
Rand Merchant Bank has warned that President Jacob Zuma’s stay in office amid growing calls for him to resign and the possibility of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma becoming the next African National Congress president put the party at risk of losing the 2019 elections.
This warning is contained in a report compiled by Rand Merchant Bank‚ based on the views of analysts‚ titled “Political Views In A post Downgrade‚ post Gordhan SA”.
The report raised the ire of Zuma's staunch defenders. The ANC Women’s League issued a statement on Thursday reminding the bank that it was ANC members who elected party leaders.
RMB’s report predicted that political uncertainty might persist up until 2019 when there may be a change of government. “The market may be under-pricing the probability that Zuma gets forced from office in the next few months‚” it said.
The report also warned that the removal of former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan increased the chances of potential interference in the South African Reserve Bank.
“Risks of a shift to the left‚ including potentially interference in the SARB (South African Reserve Bank)‚ are seen as having increased‚” it said.
But ANC Women's League secretary general Meokgo Matuba dismissed the report.
“Despite current challenges that the ANC is facing‚ with spirit of humility the ANCWL would like to indicate to the compilers of the alleged RMB report that the ANC remains the only hope for the ANCWL supporters‚ members and the general public who are on daily basis faced with untransformed financial sectors where some banks such as the FNB charge different loan interests to different racial groups.
“It is only the ANC government through established institutions like Competition Commission that can deal with banks which are involved in the corruption of the manipulation of the SA currency (sic)‚” ANCWL general secretary Meokgo Matuba said in the statement.
Since Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle last month‚ which led to the removal of Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas‚ there have been some jitters regarding the country's policy direction under new Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.
This was amplified when South Africa’s sovereign rating was downgraded by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch.
The report noted that while the odds of Zuma being forced out of office had increased‚ so had the odds that his faction would win the next ANC elective conference in December.
The report was based on the views of five independent political analysts.
RMB said in a statement that‚ through its Global Markets Research Team‚ it regularly published reports and “can confirm it compiled a report reflecting the views of five independent political analysts‚ which was circulated to its clients on 13 April 2017.
“The report reflects responses to questions put to the analysts‚ whose answers were expressed as probabilities. The questions asked covered key issues that have been dominating media coverage over the past two weeks.
“This report does not reflect RMB's view and most of these independent analysts’ views are already freely available to the public through the media‚” said the statement.
RMB said there was no suggestion in the report that the ANC was a dying organisation.
Under interpretations‚ the RMB report stated that most of the analysts believed that Dlamini-Zuma was the clear front-runner to win in December. RMB said in its statement that this analysis did not mean the bank itself had a “preferred candidate”.
Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa slipped to second place and ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize to third.
“Outsiders suggested included (Kgalema) Motlanthe‚ (Jeff) Radebe and (Lindiwe) Sisulu‚” the report noted.