The rand was weaker in afternoon trade on Monday as tension between Germany and Greece raised the possibility of a breakup of the eurozone.
"The market is very jittery right now, so the flight is into safe havens such as the US dollar," a local trader said.
At 16:00 local time the rand was bid at R8.1853 to the dollar from Friday's close of R8.0965, Thursday's close of R8.0236, Wednesday's close of R7.9993, and Tuesday's close of R7.9010. It was bid at R10.5097 to the euro from R10.4506 before, and at R13.1563 against sterling from R13.0244 previously. Prior to Friday, the rand was last above R13 per pound sterling on December 16 2011.
The euro was bid at US$1.2834 from Friday's close of $1.2893 and Thursday's close of $1.2935.
Dow Jones Newswires reported that the prospects for the US currency haven't looked so good for quite some time. The euro, which has spent many months largely ignoring the eurozone debt crisis, is now on the slide as Greece edges closer to doing the unthinkable - bringing back the drachma. The yen, which has long been an alternative or even superior safe haven to the dollar, is likely to lose favour after the Japanese prime minister vowed to halt its rise.
Germany probably sidestepped a double-dip recession in the first quarter, as resurgent industrial production and record external trade helped drive away the economic clouds settling over the rest of the eurozone.
Gross domestic product (GDP) data due to be published on Tuesday is likely to show Europe's largest economy grew by 0.1 percent between January and March, after contracting by 0.2 percent in the final quarter of 2011, according to analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires.
While seemingly meagre, such growth would underline Germany's impressive resilience to the eurozone's two-year-old sovereign debt crisis.
By contrast, the bloc as a whole is forecast to have sunk into technical recession in the first quarter - defined as two consecutive quarters of shrinking gross domestic product - following Monday's weaker-than-expected industrial output data.
Even as economies across peripheral Europe have slumped into vicious recessions, Germany's economy expanded by 3 percent last year and as much as 3.7 percent in 2010. German unemployment is at a two-decade low of 6.8 percent and falling, corporate profits remain close to record levels and confidence indicators point to ongoing growth.
Last week, the economy ministry reported a stronger-than-expected 2.8 percent rebound in industrial production in March. That means industrial production rose 0.1 percent in the first quarter despite a weather-related dip in February. A drop in industrial production was a key reason for Germany's fourth-quarter GDP contraction.
Meanwhile, exports and imports both hit record highs in March, driven by business with countries outside the European Union.
Bonds under strain; debt fears persist
In another session weighed by risk-off trade, South African bonds were up to 12 basis points weaker on Monday afternoon.
A trader said concern over the eurozone crisis and Greece in particular were escalating and this had "affected the rand, which in turn affected the local bond market".
At 15:50, the rand was bid at 8.1993 against the dollar from Friday's close of 8.0965.
The benchmark R157 bond was trading at 6.500 percent from Friday's close of 6.440 percent. The R207 was bid at 7.705 percent and offered at 7.675 percent from a previous close of 7.605 percent and the R186 was trading at 8.440 percent from its close of 8.305 percent.