The rand crashed through the R20 barrier to the pound on Wednesday, the first time since the crazy days in Jacob Zuma’s presidency when then finance minister Pravin Gordhan faced arrest for espionage. A day after it was battered by SA’s shock slide into its first recession since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the latest currency slump was driven by events further from home after an emerging-market sell-off that sent currencies lower from Mexico to India. The rand fell to as low as R20.1132 against the British currency, the weakest level since May 2016. It was at R19.94 at 6pm local time, having earlier dropped about 2%. It also dropped about 2% against the US dollar to R15.4257, taking its fall this week so far past 5%. The latest slide, which has pushed the drop against the dollar in 2018 to 19.31%, is prompting economists to question how long the SA Reserve Bank can maintain its stance of not raising interest rates. A weaker rand typically pushes inflation higher by ...

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