JOHANNESBURG– After months of under performance on global currency markets, the South African Rand is continuing to strengthen amidst hopes for a new political administration in South Africa.

It is the best performing emerging market currency on the Emerging Market Index at the moment, at around 11.93 Rand to he US dollar.

The rise in the Rand began in December after the African National Congress (ANC) national elective conference which saw South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa being elected president of the ruling party, succeeding President Jacob Zuma who has completed the second of his maximum two terms as party president.

Before the ANC conference in December 2017, the Rand was trading at around 13.70 cents to the greenback but began to strengthen after the ANC conference, reaching 12.40 at the beginning of January. The trend has continued unabated.

The external catalysts include the weakening of the US dollar to a level not seen in three years or so, combined with a positive global economic outlook.

Expectations are that the Rand will continue to strengthen even more in the coming months. However, it must be noted that the Rand is one of the most heavily traded currencies and is prone to volatility.