President Cyril Ramaphosa's failure of leadership is killing the rand

20 August 2018 - 08:00 By Justice Malala
Unless President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses issues such as land expropriation with firmness, the rand will continue to slide.
Unless President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses issues such as land expropriation with firmness, the rand will continue to slide.
Image: Reuters

One day I hope to fly around SA giving classes to politicians‚ even businesspeople‚ on the very simple theme of cause and effect.

My lessons will be very basic‚ because our politicians don’t seem to understand that there is a direct relationship between what they do and what actually happens in their jurisdictions. The one is the result of the other.

Sadly‚ the failure to appreciate cause and effect is not confined to the local and provincial levels of our political classes. Such ignorance is rampant at national level‚ as illustrated by events over the past seven days.

Over the week the rand retreated to levels last seen in the horrific Zuma days. On Friday it breached the key R15-to-the-dollar level. That’s a far cry from R12 to the dollar‚ which is the level it was at in January when hope soared that Cyril Ramaphosa would bring about change and policy certainty in SA.

The rand’s weakness is not a fluke or just the result of global political shifts such as what’s happened in Turkey. We are also to blame.

I have said this and will say it again: the greatest current threat to SA’s growth prospects is how Ramaphosa manages the land debate. His poorly conceived land announcement in the late hours of August 1 was an utter disaster. His continued lack of direction on the issue is even worse. His party’s contradictory statements have assured no one.

X