The rand has dipped to a new 4-year low, breaking through the R10 to the dollar mark by mid-afternoon on Thursday (30 May).
The currency has faced a tough 2013, opening on the lows brought about by a stalled mining industry in late 2012, and remains sensitive to the struggling European economy.
Disappointing quarterly growth figures issued in the week pushed the rand into dangerously low territory on Wednesday (29 May 2013) where it dipped close to R10/$ during the day.
By 14h10 on Thursday (30 May 2013), had broken through to R10.0080 against the dollar – its weakest since mid March 2009, and having closed at R9.82 on Wednesday.
The rand has already lost more than 15% of its value in 2013, and first dipped to such lows in 2001.
Tough economic times
Speaking at a media briefing on Thursday (30 May 2013), President Jacob Zuma called on all sectors of the economy to work harder to strengthen the country’s economic performance.
“We must strengthen economic performance and increase growth,” Zuma said.
“We cannot deliver growth on our own. We need the business, labour, and community sectors to play their part. More importantly, we need all South Africans to play their part.”
Zuma also called for stablity in the mining sector, which has been hit with multiple strikes and wage disputes in the wake of a standoff at Lonmin mines in 2012, which resulted in 34 deaths.
Zuma said all parties should work together to increase economic growth from the 0.9% GDP reported in the first quarter of 2013 to the 2.7% growth targeted by government.