22 countries where the rand is still stronger after crashing past R19 to the dollar

 ·11 May 2023

The rand has been left bruised and broken in trade on Thursday, having suffered from market panic around a grid collapse and the market fallout of South Africa being implicated in allegedly supplying ammunition to Russia.

By 16h30 on the day, the currency ended in a much weaker position against the dollar, trading at around R19.24 to the greenback, making it one of the biggest emerging market losers of the day.

Since the beginning of the year, decisions from the US Fed have led to rapid and often unpredictable fluctuations in the rand. These variations have primarily been based on a change in global risk appetite, as several factors, including load shedding, put pressure on the rand.

As of 11 May 2023, this risk aversion has led to the rand declining by 11.82% since the start of the year, with the rand trading at R19.24/$, R21.98/€, and R24,07/£.

Despite the rand’s fresh weakness – and an overall weakening trend in the first quarter of 2023 – there are still 22 countries where the rand is still stronger – including Mauritius, Thailand, Turkey, and Japan.

While a weaker rand is not good news for South African tourists looking to travel abroad, it may ultimately help boost tourism in the country as international travellers find that their dollars, euros and pounds stretch further.

Additionally, there are currently 22 countries that still offer value for South Africans looking to travel. One way to make the most of your travel budget is to travel to countries where your home currency is stronger.

This means that you’ll be able to exchange your currency for more of the local currency, giving you more purchasing power and making your trip more affordable.

Travelling with a stronger currency can help you stretch your travel budget further, allowing you to travel for longer periods of time or to visit more destinations.

A stronger currency will also allow you to afford nicer accommodations, more luxurious meals, and more expensive excursions. You can enjoy your trip without constantly checking currency conversion rates or worrying about how much money you’re spending.

Countries with a weaker currency

Below BusinessTech looked at 22 countries where R1 is worth more than the local currency as of 11 May 2023. We also looked at some of the most desirable travelling destinations among the 22 countries, highlighting them below.

Because direct currency conversion does not always indicate the general cost of living, we also compared the cost of food, drinks and travel to what you would pay locally.

The costs of food, drinks and travel in these 22 countries were done using data from Numbeo – one of the world’s largest database of user-contributed data regarding cities and countries worldwide.

The base cost of the various measures in South Africa are listed below for comparison purposes:

  • Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant for one: R150
  • Cappuccino: R31.21
  • Draught Beer (500ml at a restaurant): R35
  • Average taxi trip (per kilometre): R15

Note: These comparisons focus more on travel and touring rather than general living costs.


beach in Trou aux Biches, Mauritius.

  • R1 will buy you: 2.38 Mauritian rupees
  • Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant for one: R121.87 (Rs301)
  • Cappuccino: R40.41 (Rs 100)
  • Draught Beer (500ml): R40.53 (Rs 100)
  • Average taxi trip (per kilometre): R40 (Rs 99)


Panorama of the city of Buenos Aires


  • R1 will buy you: 11.90 Argentine pesos
  • Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant for one: R122.43 ($1520)
  • Cappuccino: R29.32 ($361)
  • Draught Beer (500ml): R34 ($419)
  • Average taxi trip (per kilometre): R14.30 ($176)


Fujiyoshida, Japan

  • R1 will buy you: 6.98 Japanese yen
  • Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant for one: R136.42 (¥1004)
  • Cappuccino: R59 (¥433)
  • Draught Beer (500ml): R61 (¥449)
  • Average taxi trip (per kilometre): R54 (¥397)


Chain bridge in Budapest

  • R1 will buy you: 17.72 Hungarian forint
  • Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant for one: R163 (2995 Ft)
  • Cappuccino: R34 (624 Ft)
  • Draught Beer (500ml): R32.76 (602 Ft)
  • Average taxi trip (per kilometre): R21.84 (401 Ft)


Ankara castle.

  • R1 will buy you: 1.6 Turkish lira
  • Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant for one: R94.26 (₺100)
  • Cappuccino: R38 (₺40.36)
  • Draught Beer (500ml): R47 (₺50)
  • Average taxi trip (per kilometre): R9.43 (₺10)


Wat Arun Temple at sunset in Bangkok.

  • R1 will buy you: 1.76 Thai baht
  • Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant for one: R43.37 (฿80)
  • Cappuccino: R36 (฿66)
  • Draught Beer (500ml): R37.95 (฿70)
  • Average taxi trip (per kilometre): R21.67 (฿40)

The 22 countries and their exchange rates to the rand are given in the table below.

Country Exchange rate (per rand)
Mauritius Rs 2.38/R
Argentina $11.90/R
Japan ¥6.98/R
Hungary 17.72 Ft/R
Turkey ₺1.6/R
Thailand ฿1.76/R
Venezuela Bs. 130689/R
Iran Rls 2211/R
Indonesia Rp 766/R
Colombia $238/R
South Korea ₩69/R
Chile $42/R
Kazakhstan ₸23/R
Sri Lanka Rs 16/R
Pakistan Rs 15/R
Iceland 7 Íkr/R
Nepal रू7/R
India ₹4/R
Russia 4 ₽‎/R
Philippine $3/R
Taiwan $2/R
Czech Republic 1 Kč/R

Read: This country is quickly becoming the next ‘Australia’ for South African expats

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