Weak Rand? Now’s the time to earn Dollars online… Here’s how

2 mins read
As the Rand weakens, here's how to earn Dollars online.
Image by redgreystock on Freepik

As of May 12, 2023, the South African Rand has hit a three-year low against the U.S. Dollar, standing at R19.21.

While this presents challenges for the national economy, it also opens up opportunities for individual South Africans to bolster their income by earning in Dollars online.

Weakening Rand

On Thursday, the Rand experienced a significant sell-off, triggered by reports that South Africa may be supplying arms to Russia.

A cargo ship that docked near Cape Town in December had allegedly loaded weapons and ammunition before returning to Russia.

If it is confirmed that the SA government supplied Russia with weapons during the ongoing Ukrainian war, South Africa may face Western sanctions.

Exchange forecast

The Rand plunged to a low of R19.33 against the dollar, marking a 2.4% decrease for the day and representing the weakest point since the record low in April 2020.

Coupled with South Africa’s electricity crisis and instability, Kieran Siney of ETM Analytics described these events as “the perfect storm”.

Meanwhile, foreign investors are concerned about the impact of the power cuts on the economy, especially as the increased cost of buying dollars to pay for diesel exacerbates the issue.

Weak rand? Earn Dollars

As we navigate these turbulent economic times, the online world offers a wealth of opportunities to adapt and thrive.

Here are several strategies that can be employed.


Online platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer offer an array of opportunities for skilled professionals to offer their services to a global market.

Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, programmer, or digital marketer, these platforms connect you with clients willing to pay in Dollars for your expertise.

I’ve personally used all three suggested sites at some point over the last decade. My biggest hit was a gig on Fiverr, creating and selling digital LOTR-style maps. It was a hit.

Fiverr is good for quick and easy gigs, while Freelancer and Upwork are my preferred platforms for bigger projects.


If you have products to sell, consider setting up an online shop on platforms like Etsy or Amazon. Shopify is a pricier option but worth it if you can afford it.

I’ll admit, I don’t have extensive experience selling on Shopify, but I can say the UX is clean and user-friendly, and there is a smorgasbord of video guides and tutorials online.

All you really need is a product to sell.

You can sell a variety of items, from handmade crafts to unique vintage finds, and receive payment in Dollars.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting other companies’ products and earning a commission for each sale made through your referral link.

Companies like Amazon, ClickBank, and CJ Affiliate offer affiliate marketing programs that pay in Dollars.

The downside of affiliate marketing is that you need an existing online presence or dedicated audience to benefit from it.

But if you do have a lucrative blog or large online presence, this would definitely be worth looking into.

Stock Photography

Websites like Shutterstock, iStock, and Adobe Stock allow you to sell your high-quality photos and earn in Dollars.

If you have a keen eye for photography, this could be an excellent income stream. Simply sign up and navigate to the Seller’s section.

Do note, however, that selling stock photography is one of those slow-burn options.

Stock photo agencies pay approximately R6 per sale of a royalty-free license on average, and less for royalty-free images.

But if your photos are popular, you could slowly but surely build up a nice incoming with minimal effort.

Flatlay stock photos are extremely popular among bloggers, and Adobe created this beginners guide.

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