The deficit actually narrowed but was still a little worse than expected in the fourth quarter of 2012, at 6.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), or R212.6 billion.
It reveals an economy struggling for growth in the face of subdued local and foreign demand for South African products.
At 10.36am SAST, the rand was trading at R9.19/$, having reached a new four-year intraday low of R9.21/$.
"The nominal effective exchange rate of the rand on balance depreciated in the final quarter of 2012 as domestic constraints and labour unrest continued to weigh on international investor sentiment," the South African Reserve Bank said.
Image: © South African Reserve Bank
Copyright is owned by Africa Outlook and/or Outlook Publishing. All rights reserved.