The rand has strengthened to R12.68 to the dollar on news of the change of leadership in the governing ANC.

It’s the strongest level the rand has reached against the greenback in at least three months.

The local currency has been on the upward curve amid anticipation of a political change that could lead to improved economic conditions in South Africa.

South Africa’s President and outgoing leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Jacob Zuma said on Monday he was happy with his contribution to the party.

The ANC has begun counting ballots to determine who will lead the party which has ruled since the end of apartheid but is tarnished by scandals and allegations of corruption.

The delegates started voting early on Monday to elect a leader to succeed President Zuma as head of a party.

A total of 4 776 delegates were eligible to cast their ballots in a vote.

After procedural delays that held up the start of balloting, the contest remained too close to call.

Most grassroots delegates backed Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa (65) and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (68) came second.

Ramaphosa, a former trade union leader who became a businessman and is now one of the richest people in South Africa, has vowed to fight corruption and revitalise the economy, a message hailed by foreign investors.

Dlamini-Zuma has pledged to tackle the racial inequality that has persisted since the end of white-minority rule.

Additional copy by Reuters

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54th ANC National Elective Conference Organisational Report (Text)