The rand tumble 2.3 per cent – the most among any major emerging market currencies – to 15.12 per dollar on Tuesday amid concerns that efforts to oust Mr Zuma will continue, potentially distracting policymakers from turning around the country’s flagging economy.
The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, introduced the impeachment motion last Thursday, immediately after the Constitutional Court ruled that Mr Zuma had violated the Constitution by refusing to reimburse taxpayers for some of the money spent upgrading his private home.
Although Mr Zuma had been widely expected to survive the motion, analyst stay they expect efforts to remove him to continue.
While a swift, orderly change of government to end the current political crisis would be welcomed by the markets, Mr Ashbourne said this is unlikely to happen unless Mr Zuma is abandoned by his own party, the African National Congress.
With the party’s top leaders happy to rally behind the president so far, thestand-off with the opposition party could turn into a long, drawn-out crisis oflegitimacy.
There remains the risk that President Zuma will hit the markets with another disruptive political surprise, like the unexplained cabinet shuffle that caused thread to fall by 8% in December 2015.