Having a look at the performance of the Rand against the Dollar for the last 10 years can only be described as a; “Frighteningly sad exercise!”
The chart goes from a low of R5.99 to the Dollar in January 2006 to R17.43 in January 2016 – the progression is definitely a bad one.
Using a 10 year chart from XE.com (see chart below) we selected peak exchange rates and matched those to happenings in South Africa to see if we could get a correlation between poor performance of the rand and specific actions taken in South Africa that could negatively affect our exchange rate.
The results speak for themselves:
23 October 2008 – R11.78 to $1: On 23 October 2008, the South African parliament officially abolished the Scorpions. The vote was 252 in favour with 63 against. Preparations were made for the remaining Scorpions members to start work in the Police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). This unit is known as the Hawks. Subsequently, the Hawks shut down the probe the Scorpions had been conducting into bribery among Zuma allies in a multibillion-rand arms deal.
7 March 2009 – R10.50 to $1: On 3 March 2009 convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik was released from prison on medical parole. On 4 March 2009, the 14th Dalai Lama’s visa application to enter South Africa was refused.
6 May 2009 – R8.41 to $1: On 6 May 2009 Jacob Zuma is elected President in the South African presidential election. A better exchange rate of R8.37 to $1 is seen on 7 May 2009
2 November 2009 – R7.97 to $1: Announcement that the First Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People’s Congress of China, Mr Wang Zhaoguo, and his 26-member delegation would pay an official visit to Parliament. Total trade between South Africa and China was about R118 billion in 2008, with South African exports accounting for about R35 billion. In 2007 the governments of both countries agreed to a Partnership for Growth and Development aimed at addressing the trade imbalance in China’s favour through promoting infrastructure development projects, minerals beneficiation and market access. South Africa and China also signed an R18 million economic and technical cooperation agreement to support human resource development projects in South Africa.
2010: In SA’s World Cup year the rand performed exceptionally well and was on a downward trajectory from a 25 May 2010 high of R7.82 to $1.
2 January 2011 – R6.60 to $1: Parliament only opened on 11 February 2010 so they cannot take the congratulations for this low exchange rate.
26 November 2011 – R8.52 to $1: The Dalai Lama is refused a visa in October and the exchange rate begins to climb. It peaks on the opening day of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP17) that takes place in Durban and begins with environmental activists taking to the streets.
31 May 2012 – R8.50 to $1: The Spear, a painting by Cape Town-based South African artist, Brett Murray depicting South African President Jacob Zuma in a pose reminiscent of Lenin, with his genitals exposed is vandalised on 22 May 2012. The South African presentation to the United Nations on progress on Human Rights in South Africa is not the shining example we all believed we could present. SA gets spanked on a number of racist and xenophobic issues needing attention. Other concerns highlighted by UN Countries were; Acts of violence against LGBT persons, The Protection of State Information Bill and freedom of the press, Measures to address violence against women and domestic violence; Steps to uphold the rights of the migrants.
27 August 2012 – R8.44 to $1: After the Marikana Massacre on 16 August.
17 November 2012 – R8.86 to $1: National Fraud Awareness Week runs from 12 to 17 November 2012, as a fraud and risk- management seminar. The week is aimed at raising awareness on fraud and corruption and how the two affect service delivery. In October Pansy Tlakula, then chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) speaks out against African governments’ crackdown on freedom of speech.
24 August 2013 – R10.24 to $1: A presidential (Jacob Zuma) proclamation brought the Seventeenth Amendment of the Constitution of South Africa into force on 23 August 2013.
29 January 2014 – R11.30 to $1: For the first time in two years the repo rate is increased by half a percentage point. Concerns are expressed about rising inflation and petrol prices.
5 October 2014 – R11.36 to $1: The highest rate of 2014. On 26 September 2014 the 2014 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, to be held in Cape Town from 13 to 15 October, is suspended after a boycott of Nobel Laureates to protest the third time refusal of a visa to the Dalai Lama by a South African Government “kowtowing to China”. The Shrien Dewani trial starts on 6 October 2014.
14 March 2015 – R12.57 to $1: A peak pointing to a major fall in the rand dollar exchange. Service delivery protests, xenophobic violence and the #RhodesMustFall campaign.
7 June 2015 – R12.60 to $1: On 1 June Trinidadian football executive and former Deputy President of FIFA, Jack Warner, is accused of accepting a $10 million bribe given to FIFA by the South African Football Association to secure the right for the country to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
28 September 2015 – R14.06 to $1: It is revealed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the African National Congress front company, Chancellor House, was irregularly paid over $5 million in connection with contracts for the construction of the Medupi and Kusile power stations. South Africa witnesses a Super (blood) moon.
15 November 2014 – R14.40 to $1: On 14 November police’s public order policing unit stormed into the National Assembly chamber causing a scuffle in which several punches were thrown. Severe drought hits five of South Africa’s nine provinces, placing strain on the country’s water supply and affecting around 2.7 million households.
11 December 2015 – R15.89 to $1: President Jacob Zuma fires Finance Minister Nhlahla Nene, replaces him with David van Rooyen then hastily re-instates former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Health Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi officially releases the White Paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) as approved by Cabinet for public comment ahead of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day.
10 January 2015 – R17.43 to $1: Hawks boss Anwar Dramat is suspended amidst accusations of his suspension being a result of Zuma’s ‘wrecking ball’.