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South Africans already over R10 000 richer under Ramaphosa, sort of

Dec 19 2017 13:39
Alex Nicholson and Selcuk Gokoluk, Bloomberg News

Moscow - It may be “graph crime”, but Renaissance Capital economist Charles Robertson has a nice way of looking at the rand’s Ramaphosa-driven rally.

Anticipation that Cyril Ramaphosa would win the vote to head the ruling ANC has sent the currency soaring in the past month.

As a result, his compatriots are now $855 (R10 937) better off in dollar terms in that period, compared with a mere $163 (R2 085) rise in income since President Jacob Zuma came to power in 2009, according to Robertson. 

But as he concedes himself, the maths are a little naughty.

The chart below is what you get if you divide the International Monetary Fund’s estimates for average annual per capita gross domestic product in 2017 by the rand’s spot exchange rate.

“Yes, this is graph crime,” Robertson wrote in an emailed note.

“Because we economists use the average exchange rate to calculate the per capita GDP. But to be fair to this graph, the average rand rate could have been R14.50 if Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma won and R12.50 with Ramaphosa winning - so it kind of works.”

Ramaphosa rally

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