The South African rand marked its top gains thus far this year against the world's reserve currency on Thursday amid confidence the ruling party will prevail in national elections, according to Bloomberg.
The currency of Africa's largest economy also benefited from strong data released by China, which trumped expectations of economists, trader and analysts. But the election, the country's first one since the December 2013 death of African National Congress favorite son Nelson Mandela, marks a pivotal time period.
"Many are hoping that the ANC will get a scare in these elections and begin to reflect on some of its failures," states an opinion column authored by South African political commentator Justice Malala for CNN. "Increasingly, South Africa feels like a country caught between its past and its future."
The rand jumped roughly 0.9 percent against the greenback on Thursday, notching its biggest lift since late December 2013.
The ANC is likely to be harmed due to scandal and economic struggles trailing President Jacob Zuma, CNN reports. Yet the faction is poised to clenching the 20-year grasp on national politics.
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