USD To Rand – The Highs, The Lows And The Come Back!


The South African rand has come a long way in trying to measure up to the dollar. Over the years, the exchange rate of the USD to rand has been spinning in ways that most citizens of South Africa have found difficult to keep up with.

Other than the fluctuating economy, President Jacob Zuma’s actions have not helped the exchange rate in any way.

Earlier in 2015, the rand began to strengthen against the dollar and was doing okay until December when Zuma axed the then minister of Finance and replaced him with others who the people deemed unfit for the post.

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True to that, the Rand weakened against the dollar and has kept declining and strengthening with no particular pattern.

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Let’s take a look at the exchange rate curve of the USD ($) to the South African Rand (R) focusing on the past five years. We get to analyse the fall of the rand against the dollar.

Do we need to look back in other to move forward? Right from the inception of the Rand, the exchange rate between both currencies has seen various highs and lows. From the Rand being higher than the dollar, to the dollar holding its grounds as a power currency; here is the monthly breakdown of the USD to the ZAR over the last five years:

USD To Rand – Year 2016:

As 2016 comes to an end, the South African economy seems to be picking up and things are looking good for the Rand. The Rand started at a record low of R 16.3 against the USD in January and has since gained strength till date, regardless of the little bump in May and June.  As shown in the figures below, if South Africa keeps up the good work, the gap between both currencies will be reduced significantly at the end of the year.

August – (R 13.7), July – (R 14.4), June – (R 15.1), May – (R 15.3), April – (R 14.6), March – (R 15.4), February – (R 15.8), January – (R 16.3).

USD To Rand Year 2015:

2015 saw a rise in the dollar against the rand, from a low of R 11.6 in January, to a high of R 15.1 in December. Here is what the figures looked like:

December – (R 15.1), November – (R 14.2), October – (R 13.5), September – (R 13.7), August – (R 12.9), July – (R 12.5), June – (R 12.3), May – (R 11.97), April – (R 11.98), March – (R 12.1), February – (R 11.6), January – (R 11.6).

USD To Rand Year 2014:

2014 was a good year for the ZAR, there were very little shifts in the exchange rate against the dollar. The rand was very stable and only experienced a shift of about R 1.6 against the USD all year.

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December – (R 11.5), November – (R 11.1), October – (R 11.1), September – (R 10.99), August – (R 10.7), July – (R 10.7), June – (R 10.7), May – (R 10.4), April – (R 10.5), March – (R 10.7), February – (R 10.96), January – (R 10.9).

USD To Rand Year 2013:

This year we see a staggering increase in the dollar against the rand and just when there seemed to be hope in a reduction of the dollar against the rand in July, it never seemed to last long.

December – (R 10.4), November – (R 10.2), October – (R 9.9), September – (R 9.99), August – (R 10.1), July – (R 9.9), June – (R 10), May – (R 9.3), April – (R 9.1), March – (R 9.2), February – (R 8.9), January – (R 8.8).

USD To Rand Year 2012:

As compared to the next four years ahead, the Rand was at its strongest in 2012. It only got weaker against the dollar as the months and years went by. In just 4 years, we have seen a double in the strength of the dollar against the rand.

From a rate of R 8 to one dollar, to a starting rate of R 16.3 in January 2016, this brings a question to mind: are we actually doing better as a country? Or do we need to look back on how things were done and traces where we went off track.

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December – (R 8.6), November – (R 8.8), October – (R 8.7), September – (R 8.3), August – (R 8.3), July – (R 8.2), June – (R 8.4), May – (R 8.2), April – (R 7.8), March – (R 7.6), February – (R 7.6), January – (R 8).

In conclusion, with a little more work put in and more stable political structures and policies, the future is ours for the taking. There’s no doubt we can get where we need to be if we move forward, not neglecting our past mistakes, but actually learning from them and using them to our advantage.

If everyone pools their strengths as a country, with more local investments and exports, the rand would get back to its much desired position. Not just being of equal value to the dollar, but posing a greater value.

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