powerball dollar to rand value budget speech

A retired engineer, 72, won R100 from a R7,50 wager in the PowerBall draw last week. Photo: Jim Jamski / Flickr

NHI fallout: Rand hits lowest level of 2019, as R14bn wiped from shares

The rand’s decline has been exacerbated by the impact of the NHI proposals. But how has the worst exchange rate in a year hurt local industries?

powerball dollar to rand value budget speech

A retired engineer, 72, won R100 from a R7,50 wager in the PowerBall draw last week. Photo: Jim Jamski / Flickr

The National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill tabled for Parliament’s approval last week has probably caused more health scares than it will ever solve. The heart-stopping costs – and threat of higher taxations – have left South Africans sceptical over the “universal health care” plan, and the rand is wobbling.

By all means, the idea that the UK’s NHS-style system could work in this country is a genuinely heartwarming one. But in the realm of stone-cold practicalities, creating another SOE to swallow public money is exactly the last thing our economy needs.

Opponents of NHI raise their voices

Several political parties are opposed to its roll-out, with the DA voicing their concers the loudest. They have unveiled their four-point plan to prevent NHI from being written into law, including a court challenge. The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) have also thrown their hat into the ring, when it comes to bashing the bill.

“It’s estimated that an amount of R14 billion was lost in terms of the value of health care shares on the Exchange. This sharp decrease in the value of shares has occurred due to the uncertainty and negative sentiments surrounding NHI.”

“According to media reports, the companies that have suffered the greatest losses are Afrocentric Health, Momentum Shed, Discovery and Adcock Ingram. The FF Plus is of the opinion that this trend will drastically weaken South Africa’s economy.”

Philip van Staden, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson for ealth

The NHI effect: Discovery share price and others suffer

It’s estimated that shares in Discovery fell as much as 11% on Monday before paring the decline to 5% later in the week  Meanwhile, Shadow Health Minister and DA MP Siviwe Gwarube says Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is “playing politics with this Bill” and “has no intention is not to solve the deep inequalities in the health system”.

Her words may be harsh, but the financial realities that plague South Africa can cut even deeper. On Tuesday, we priced up how much NHI could potentially cost the taxpayer. It wasn’t pretty, put it that way. But the latest exchange rate for the rand against the US dollar tells us everything we need to know.

Lates dollar to rand exchange rate for Wednesday 14 August 2019

At $1 : R15.39 on Wednesday afternoon, this week has gone down as the worst performance against the Greenback since September 2018. Although NHI is not solely responsible for the plummeting value of ZAR, it’s contributing factor to the economy has been a wholly negative one.

The winds of change often leave a trail of destruction behind, but with such stern opposition, it’s tough to see how this “universal” healthcare bill can please everybody.