The rand extended its pullback from last week’s highs on Tuesday as market sentiment soured amid fears highly infectious new strains of the coronavirus in both Britain and South Africa could slow the global recovery.
At 0758 GMT, the rand traded at R14.64 versus the dollar, 0.24% down from its previous close.
Shares across Asia also continued to fall as the discovery of the new strain in Britain dented global optimism about the roll out of vaccines and brought fresh worries about a virus that has already killed about 1.7 million people worldwide.
It saw countries across the world close their borders to Britain, where the strain is thought to be up to 70% more transmissible. South Africa has also identified a more infectious strain that it says is driving a second wave of infections.
Some banned travel from South Africa as a result. The country has reported 930,711 coronavirus cases and 24,907 deaths so far.
Government bonds weakened, with the yield on the instrument due in 2030 rising 15 basis points to 8.855%.