The rand was firmer against the dollar this week extending its gains as calls for President Jacob Zuma to step down intensified.
The local currency gained 1.52% to the dollar in intra-day trade as participants from seven opposition parties united in a march at the Union Buildings in protest against the president.
On Tuesday‚ the rand also gained when the Constitutional Court allowed parties to file opposing papers in the UDM’s urgent application on the debate of the motion of no confidence in Zuma. The local currency strengthened 1% to R13.7595 from previous close of R13.9404.
The local currency has been volatile after a Cabinet reshuffle that led to Pravin Gordhan being fired as the finance minister. This led to SA being downgraded to junk status by two ratings agencies which triggered intensified social protests.
The rand plummeted more than 6% from a previous level of R12.79 to R13.6282 in opening trade of March 31 when the market woke up to news of the reshuffle.
Earlier this afternoon‚ Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba told investors at the Development Bank of SA that the president’s decision to call a special Cabinet meeting on Wednesday comes from the two recent downgrades and is to take the Cabinet into his confidence with regards to the implications of the downgrades.
At 3.32pm‚ on the rand was at R13.6424 to the dollar from Tuesday’s R13.8286; at R14.4710 to the euro from R14.6664; and at R17.0508 to the pound from R17.2710.
The euro was at 1.0607 to the dollar from 1.0606.