Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO
Picture: REUTERS/SIPHIWE SIBEKO

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has warned that President Jacob Zuma’s stay in office amid growing calls for him to resign, and the possibility of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma becoming the next ANC president, put the party at risk of losing the 2019 elections.

The warning is contained in RMB’s report titled: Political Views In A post Downgrade‚ post Gordhan SA.

The report has raised the ire of Zuma’s staunch defenders, with the ANC Women’s League issuing a statement on Thursday reminding the bank that it was ANC members that elected party leaders.

RMB predicted that political uncertainty might persist until 2019, when there might be a change of government. "The market may be underpricing the probability that Zuma gets forced from office in the next few months‚" it said.

RMB also warned in the report that the removal of former finance minister Pravin Gordhan increased the chances of potential interference in the South African Reserve Bank.

"Risks of a shift to the left‚ including potentially interference in the SARB (South African Reserve Bank) are seen as having increased‚" RMB said.

But ANC Women’s League secretary-general Meokgo Matuba dismissed the report.

"Despite current challenges that the ANC is facing‚ with spirit of humility, the ANC Women’s League would like to indicate to the compilers of the alleged RMB report that the ANC remains the only hope for the ANC Women’s League supporters‚ members and the general public who are, on daily basis, faced with untransformed financial sectors where some banks, such as FNB, charge different loan interests to different racial groups.

"It is only the ANC government through established institutions like Competition Commission, that can deal with banks which are involved in the corruption of the manipulation of the SA currency‚" Matuba said in the statement.

Since Zuma’s Cabinet reshuffle in March‚ which led to the removal of Gordhan and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas‚ there have been some jitters regarding the country’s policy direction under the new finance minister, Malusi Gigaba.

This was amplified when SA’s sovereign rating was downgraded to junk by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch.

The report‚ which RMB says is confidential‚ noted that while the odds of Zuma being forced out of office had increased‚ so had the odds that his faction would win the next ANC elective conference in December.

The report was based on research by seven analysts.

RMB stated in the report that most analysts believed Dlamini-Zuma was the clear front-runner to win in December.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa slipped to second place and ANC treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize to third.

"Outsiders suggested included [Kgalema] Motlanthe‚ [Jeff] Radebe and [Lindiwe] Sisulu‚" the report noted.

RMB spokesperson Joandra Griesel had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publishing.

TMG Digital

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