The rand (USD/ZAR) has not been a one-way road. Yet SA portfolios are more likely to be adding dollars when they are expensive and not doing so when the rand has recovered.

The rand cost of a dollar doubled between January 2000 and January 2002 — but had recovered these losses by early 2005. The USD/ZAR weakened during the financial crisis, but by mid-2011 was back more or less where it was in early 2000. A period of consistent rand weakness followed between 2012 and 2016 and a dollar cost nearly R17 in early 2016.

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