Two recent events have increased investors’ nervousness about South Africa’s upcoming elections: fresh poll data predicting steeper than expected losses for the ANC and bigger gains for former president Jacob Zuma’s MK Party, and Zuma’s win of an appeal before the electoral court, which  allows him to stand as a parliamentary candidate.

The rand weakened by 20c last Wednesday — from R18.44/$ to R18.64/$ — after the Social Research Foundation (SRF) poll showed the ANC may get only 37% of the vote, with the MK at 13%, the EFF at 11% and the IFP at 5%. A very poor showing for the ANC would increase the odds of it forming a governing coalition with the EFF or MK, or both...

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