Rand slumps to 1-year low, JSE falls

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE RAND slipped to a one-year low yes­ter­day as fears of a rat­ings down­grade resur­faced on re­ports Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma was prepar­ing to in­tro­duce free ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, which would put added pres­sure on pub­lic fi­nances.

The rand was 0.58 per­cent weaker against the dol­lar at R14.3225 as of 5.40pm, af­ter ear­lier be­ing down more than 1 per­cent to a ses­sion low of R14.42 – a level last hit on Novem­ber 21 last year.

The gov­ern­ment was con­sid­er­ing a range of bud­get cuts that could in­clude slash­ing so­cial grants for the most vul­ner­a­ble in or­der to pay for free ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion, a news­pa­per re­ported yes­ter­day.

South Africa is star­ing down the bar­rel of rat­ings down­grades af­ter the Trea­sury last month widened bud­get deficit es­ti­mates and low­ered this year’s eco­nomic growth fore­cast.

Stocks were weaker. The bench­mark JSE Top40 in­dex re­treated 0.17 per­cent to 53 424.93 points, while the broader all share in­dex slid 0.14 per­cent to 59 776.12 points.

in which the state owns a stake of around 40 per­cent, fell 6.39 per­cent to R50.50. – Reuters

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