The rand strengthened almost 3% to trade under R13.15 to the US dollar amid optimism that Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa would be victorious in the race for ANC president.
By 22:37 in New York trade the local unit was trading 2.81% firmer at R13.13 to the greenback from an intraday low of R13.52 and an overnight close of R13.50/$.
The campaign of Ramaphosa’s strongest opponent Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was dealt a triple blow when courts in Bloemfontein (Free State), Pietermaritzburg (KwaZulu-Natal) and the Bonjala region (North West) ruled against branches in those regions.
All the decisions come on the eve of the start of the ANC’s national elective conference on Saturday and the vote for party leader on Sunday evening.
“There is a general optimism in the market that Cyril Ramaphosa is looking like the likely winner of the ANC conference, this after the court decisions about North West and KZN that seem to have dealt a blow for the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma campaign,” said TreasuryOne currency dealer Wichard Cilliers.