Rand climbs following Zuma resignation


A street money changer counts South African Rands in Harare, Zimbabwe, May 5, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

JOHANNESBURG - The rand hovered near two-and-half year highs against the US dollar early on Thursday, boosted by former president Jacob Zuma&39;s late-night resignation after his ruling ANC party recalled him from his post this week.

Many South Africans are cheering the exit of Zuma who has been dogged by corruption allegations since becoming president in 2009, a post that will now be assumed by his deputy Cyril Ramaphosa.

The rand climbed to 11.66 against the dollar on Wednesday, its strongest since mid 2015, and was holding generally firm at 11.71 by 07:30 am on Thursday.

"Global markets are smiling on South Africa, being the second African country in a matter of months to take a stand against corrupt leadership and skewed politics," said market analyst Bianca Botes of Peregrine Treasury Solutions.

READ: Rand loses footing after Zuma recall

"The rand is expected to trade in a range of R11.70/12 leading up to the budget speech next week, with some favourable movements as Ramaphosa gets handed the official title of President of the Republic."

Both local and foreign investors are optimistic that South Africa&39;s floundering economy will get back on track under Ramaphosa, a former businessman whose election as leader of the governing African National Congress last December lifted financial markets.