The rand is down and inflation is up, but has not yet breached the Reserve Bank's upper target range.
The rand has bounced back from a five-year low on expectations that the Reserve Bank will raise the repo rate as inflation grows.
GIll Marcus's surprise announcement that the repo rate will increase to 5.5% is in line with recent actions taken in other emerging economies.
Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus has announced an increase of 50 basis points in the repurchase rate, due to a weak rand and inflationary risks.
Investors on Wednesday morning awaited Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus's announcement on the repo rate.
Derivatives used to speculate interest rates tumbled after South African inflation was found to be lower than expected.
The Consumer Price Index annual inflation rate in December 2013 has surprised the market, having come in just marginally higher than in November.
The month on month decline in the leading economic indictor means the economy will be hard-pressed for the first half of 2014.
A lower-than-expected inflation increase means there is less chance of a repo rate hike in the next quarter, say analysts.
South Africa doesn't foresee a sudden stop of capital inflows as central banks react to the possibility of quantitative easing, says the Reserve Bank.
South Africa's GDP growth has been only 0.7% in the third quarter of 2013, the slowest pace in more than four years.
The Reserve Bank's acknowledgment that a rate hike had been discussed extensively has caused the rand to strengthen and bond yields to go up.
The repo rate will remain unchanged at 5%, meaning that the prime lending rate from banks to consumers will stay at 8.5%, says Gill Marcus.
A accomodative monetary stance should be maintained while inflation allows for it, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The Reserve Bank seeks to diversify its currency exposure to help protect reserves from a potential rise in US Treasury yields.
South Africa needs to shield itself against capital outflows by boosting its foreign currency reserves, says Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus.
The cost of manufacturing goods in South Africa rose higher in August than last month, meaning more pressure on consumer prices.
Governor Gill Marcus says the South African Reserve Bank will maintain the current repo rate.
The rand has depreciated as investors gauged that a surge against the dollar, after the US Fed suddenly maintained monetary stimulus, was overdone.
The industry association has said that sales unexpectedly dropped in August compared with figures from a year before.