The rand fell more than 1% against the dollar after data showed that the South African economy contracted in the first quarter.
Real GDP fell 3.2% on a quarterly basis in the first three months of 2019, following a 1.4% increase in the fourth quarter of 2018, marking the largest quarterly drop in about 10 years, Statistics South Africa said.
The manufacturing industry plunged 8.8%, while mining fell 10.8% and the trade, catering and accommodation industry declined 3.6%.
The South African rand was down 1.21% versus the U.S. currency as of 6:38 a.m. ET.
South Africa slipped into a recession in the second quarter of 2018 but bounced back in the succeeding three-month period.