Investors watching closely as Ramaphosa considers cabinet line-up

Pics: Zuma's farewell party at Tuynhuys

President Cyril Ramaphosa has received messages of congratulations from a number of Heads of State and Government during a round of telephone calls on Sunday afternoon.

"These fiscal proposals will cause economic discomfort but they are necessary to protect the integrity of the public finances, " he said in his budget speech to parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday.

"All 14‚000 staff‚ including the executive committee and management‚ are now focused‚ working hard and continue to call and make a pledge to all South Africans to please do their national duty and obligation of paying their taxes as we take the country to the highest trajectory". We needed a huge quantum of money so that we didn't go and increase our debt unsustainably.

"This is line with our forecast for continued South African rand (ZAR) gains over the course of this year, in part also reflecting a weaker Dollars, with an eventual test of 11.00 remaining possible".

Labour unions that backed Ramaphosa's campaign to win control of the ANC in December vigorously opposed a Value-Added Tax increase, arguing that the government should target wasteful spending instead.

Higher taxes will raise an additional R36bn in the year to March 2019 and be coupled with budget cuts totaling R85bn over three years.

Ratings agency Fitch‚ which considers South African debt as junk‚ said earlier SA's budget has reversed some of the fiscal deterioration seen in 2017 - particularly during the medium-term budget policy statement.

Forecasts in October that projected gross debt ballooning to more than 60% of GDP were pared back. "Much more remains to be done".




The EFF spelled out Gigaba's alleged role in the capture and corruption of state-owned enterprises like South African Airways, Transnet, and Eskom.

In fixed income, government bonds were flat, with the yield on the benchmark instrument due in 2026 ZAR186= at 8.10 percent.

At 0655 GMT, the rand traded at 11.75 versus the dollar, 0.17 percent weaker from its overnight close in NY.

Better sentiment since Ramaphosa took over leadership of the ruling party, and the government, is expected to help lift economic growth.

The US 10-year treasury was last seen at 2.8879% from 2.9189%.

"Coming off a very low base, the growth number is very achievable", Jeffrey Schultz, an economist at BNP Paribas, said by phone from Johannesburg.

Zuma last week Wednesday announced his resignation as state president with immediate effect last week. "The population was given a crash course in democracy, legal systems, the economy, state-owned companies and how safeguards failed us".

The President said if there is a cabinet reshuffle, it won't be done at the behest of the opposition.

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