An economist says prospects of rising interest rates in the United States, coupled with a downturn in the Chinese economy contributed to the South African currency's record drop.

On Monday, the financial newspaper Business Day reported that the rand plunged to 14 rand to the dollar before recovering slightly as the day continued.

Business Day said the rand was the worst affected among 25 emerging market currencies struggling as China's economy weakened.

Economist Richard Downing said domestic factors, such as a rudderless economic policy, labor strikes and a neglected manufacturing sector, made the South African rand even more vulnerable to international currency fluctuations.

Downing said South African policy makers must do more to regain the confidence of international investors.