JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s rand fell again early on Friday, reaching a new 2019 low as assurances by the ruling African National Congress about the independence of the central bank did little to ease nerves about economic policy.
At 6:40am, the rand was 0,63% weaker at 15.0900 per dollar, bring losses since Monday to nearly 5% as a public spat among senior ANC officials over the Reserve Bank’s mandate added to the bad news of a contraction to the economy.
The row has exposed deep divisions within the ANC. A group loyal to President Cyril Ramaphosa opposes calls from a rival faction for the bank to do more to
boost employment and kick-start growth in the country’s ailing economy.
Data on Tuesday showed first-quarter growth contracted 3,2%, the most in a decade, almost immediately followed by the ANC’s announcement that it wanted the
bank to consider quantitative easing to lower government debts, sending the rand crashing.