The Chinese currency renminbi (RMB) now accounts for more than 30 percent of payments between South Africa and China. According to recent SWIFT data, the number of South Africa’s renminbi payments increased by a staggering 191 percent over the last two years.
In June 2015, 31.3 percent of direct payments value between South Africa and China plus Hong Kong were in RMB versus 10.8 percent in June 2014 and only 4.6 percent in June 2013. At the same time, nearly 70 percent of the number of payments is still intermediated by the United States, mainly in USD.
Hugo Smit, Head of Africa South, SWIFT (pictured):
"The rise of RMB usage in South Africa is another good indicator of the cross border use of the currency. Much of this growth has to do with the strengthened bi-lateral relations between South Africa and China, which were renewed at the end of 2014 to include trade co-operation and sustainable investment opportunities between the two countries. As a result of this effort, RMB usage in South Africa should continue to grow at a good rate."
In June 2015, the renminbi held its position as the fifth most active currency for global payments in value and accounted for 2.09 percent of global payments, a slight decrease from 2.18 percent in May 2015. Overall, RMB payments increased in value by 9.26 percent in June 2015, whilst growth for all payments currencies was at 14.46 percent.