South Africa’s rand could be in for a difficult time after the elections, history shows.
New data published by Bloomberg shows that since the start of the post-apartheid era, the rand has tended to strengthen in the month before the vote – but weaken in the 30 days afterwards.
The outlier was 2009, when the rand was recovering from a record low reached during the global financial crisis.
With South African elections nine days away, political bickering is intensifying, but with little effect on the rand, said Bianca Botes, corporate treasury manager at Peregrine Treasury Solutions.
However financial analysts are currently awaiting the results of South Africa’s national elections with bated breath, as the country recovers from a weaker rand, load shedding and high oil prices.
Speaking to CNBC Africa, Tsitsi Hatendi-Matika, head of Retail Investment Specialist at Absa’s Wealth and Investment Management, said that the rand is currently predicted to be on track for the R14/dollar mark after the elections.
However, she cautioned that this does not account for the recent spike in oil prices.
In the event that elections provide an unexpected result – such as a president who doesn’t get the majority vote – the rand’s levels could differ dramatically, she said.
The analyst said that ‘black swan events’ by their nature cannot be anticipated.
A black swan is an event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and is extremely difficult to predict.
“Should things go extreme and not how the market expect them to go – you could see the rand head to R15 or even R16/dollar.”