Zuma and Ramaphosa all smiles at farewell party

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks in parliament in Cape Town

The rand was also finding some support as markets processed views that Wednesday's budget had averted a downgrade by ratings agency Moody's. "To avoid disruptions, we will stay away from the House for the entire country to see that Ramaphosa is sustaining the legacy of disreputable ministers like Gigaba, awarding them with the privilege of presenting the country's budget which they have ensured it benefits corrupt interests of the Gupta syndicate".

The Treasury forecasts a 1.5% expansion this year, up from the October forecast of 1.1%.

"Positive signs of reform are now evident. The budget will have to deliver enough consolidation to avert such a move", Standard Chartered Bank's Chief Africa Economist Razia Khan said.

"However, the projected deficits for FY20 and 21, at 3.6% and 3.5%, respectively, are wider than we had hoped, signalling limited plans (for now) for more ambitious fiscal consolidation". The rand and government bonds gained.

This would push South African borrowing costs higher and put downward pressure on the Rand once again as foreign investors flee the country.

"I will try very hard not to disappoint the people of South Africa", Mr Ramaphosa said in ending his speech to parliament shortly after it elected him.

"We have not adjusted Value-Added Tax since 1993, and it is low compared to some of our peers".

"This is partly because the budget measures demonstrate political resolve to try to rein in the fiscal deficit".

VICTORIA MATABOLOGE: "I think it's a new beginning for South Africa".

JACOB Zuma officially resigned as the president of South Africa, to be replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa.

In 2016, the ruling African National Congress national executive committee said lifestyle audits would be carried out on ministers, government officials and those in charge of public enterprises in a bid to tackle allegations that it was failing to act against those accused of corruption within its own ranks.

Taking the podium during his reply to the state of the nation address debate on February 19, Ramaphosa said: "We must be prepared‚ as government‚ that where we have failed our people‚ where we have made mistakes‚ we take steps to correct those mistakes".

"This is line with our forecast for continued South African rand (ZAR) gains over the course of this year, in part also reflecting a weaker United States dollars, with an eventual test of 11.00 remaining possible".

Many analysts expect Mr. Gigaba may soon be removed as finance minister.

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