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Exchange rate ZAR -
South African rand

The South African rand has been the official currency of South Africa since 1961. One rand is divided into one hundred cents.

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Currency exchange
Currency Buy Sell Name Currency code
ZAR PLN 0.2101 0.2470 South African rand 1 ZAR

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South African rand exchange rate - chart

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South African rand

The South African rand is the official currency in South Africa. Its international abbreviation is ZAR. The rand is also denoted by the symbol R. It divides into 100 cents.

The South African rand - where is it used?

The South African rand is the official monetary unit within South Africa, as well as Lesotho, Namibia and Eswatini. Unofficially it is also used in Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. If you are planning to visit one of these countries, it may be worth checking the ZAR exchange rate and, in particular, the ZAR/EUR currency exchange rate.

The history of ZAR

The rand owes its name to the Witwatersrand mountain range, which stretches near Johannesburg. This area is rich in raw material deposits. Already in 1886, sizable gold resources were discovered there. The rand made its debut as a currency in 1961, back in the days of the Union of South Africa. Before that date, the country used the South African pound, which was divided into shillings and pence. Therefore, the adoption of the rand meant that there was also a transition to a decimal system. The rand exchange rate was fixed as follows: for a pound, you could get 2 rands, and for 10 shillings, 1 rand. For the first few years of operation, the ZAR exchange rate hovered around 1.40 USD. The two currencies did not equal each other until 1982. High inflation and international opposition to apartheid meant that the South African rand began to weaken sharply against the US dollar. As early as 1985, 2 rands were paid for 1 dollar. To stop the depreciation, currency exchange in the country was even halted for 3 days. The country's subsequent problems in the 1990s led to a further drop in the ZAR exchange rate. In 2001, the dollar cost 13 rands. The following years saw a slight rebound and strengthening of the ZAR exchange rate, but it never returned to the levels of the currency's early days. By 2020, about 14 rands was being paid per dollar.

The South African rand - key information

Within South Africa, the population uses coins with denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, as well as 1, 2 and 5 rands. Due to their low value, the first three coins are no longer produced, although they still remain official tender. For convenience, prices in stores are usually rounded up to 10 cents. The coins' reverses show the country's coat of arms, while the obverse presents images of animals characteristic of this country. South African rand banknotes are available in five denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 rands. All of them bear the image of Nelson Mandela on the obverse. On the reverse side, the banknotes depict the big five of Africa: the lion, the African elephant, the African buffalo, the black rhinoceros and the leopard. In 2018, there was also a unique series of banknotes released that depicts crucial scenes from Mandela's life instead of animals. It runs in parallel with the previous series.

Check the ZAR exchange rate

The ZAR is among the currencies that are highly linked to the price of major commodities. The rand exchange rate depends on South Africa's main export commodities - gold, iron ore and platinum. The ZAR exchange rate can also be influenced by government political decisions and ongoing events in the country. It should be remembered that the rand exchange rate can be volatile, so it is a good idea to monitor its performance on an ongoing basis. ZAR is not very popular in the exchange offices, so it is worth buying or selling South African rand on the Internet, using our portal's services.