At 1605 GMT, the rand traded at 17.1700 against the dollar, about 0.9% stronger than its previous close.
The dollar was down about 0.3% against a basket of currencies.
The risk-sensitive rand had strengthened on Tuesday as markets welcomed a surprising jump in economic growth figures and a pause in the political turmoil around President Cyril Ramaphosa amid the "Farmgate" scandal.
On Wednesday the rand shrugged off an escalation in power cuts, with state utility Eskom repeating the worst outage level on record called "Stage 6". That means at least six hours a day without power for most South Africans.
On Thursday, investor attention turns to third-quarter current account data and October manufacturing numbers.
Economists polled by Reuters are predicting the current account deficit will narrow to 0.8% of gross domestic product and that manufacturing output will rise 4.5% year on year.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange's All-share index ended 0.7% lower, partly reflecting a fall in world stocks on economic growth fears.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Alexander Winning, editing by Mark Heinrich)