Markets have a way of puncturing complacency. Friday’s rout in the rand should have punctured any illusions of South Africans that the post-December investor confidence surge was enough to revive SA’s economic fortunes. Argentina and Turkey have been savaged recently as a strong dollar and rising US rates and trade war risks have cut global investors’ risk appetite and turned the tide of investor sentiment against emerging markets. SA had been congratulating itself that it had solid policies and sound financial markets and was not Argentina, Turkey or even Brazil. But last week it was SA’s turn. The rand on Friday pierced R13 to the dollar, dropping at one stage by more than 2% to almost R13.30, its worst level since December’s ANC conference. For the week it was down almost 4% against the dollar, making it the fourth worst performer among emerging market currencies. It has fallen 11% since its Ramaphoria peaks in the first two months of this year. Benchmark bond yields, too, have s...

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