According to money market observers, Marketwatch there was a sudden jump in black market rates yesterday for both the Rand and USD. Several black market dealers were reported to have suspended trading as they waited for the market to cool down.

While trading started at 5.5 RTGS$ for each USD it rose sharply to 5.7 RTGS$ around 10 am. By 12 the greenback was trading at around 6.0 RTGS$ per each dollar. This is when a number of dealers pulled out before the rate settled back to the near opening price of 5.5RTGS$. The Rand was trading at around 35 RTGS$ for each R100.

It is not exactly clear what is driving this latest spike in rates. However it could be a result of the latest energy crisis which has made people are little jittery. Crippling load shedding was introduced last week and it’s likely to have chilling effects on the economy in general and productivity in particular.