The South African rand sign: ZAR is the currency of South Africa. The rand is subdivided into cents sign: The rand is legal tender in the Common Monetary Area between South Africa , Swaziland , Lesotho , and Namibia , although the latter three countries do have their own currencies. Historical users of the South African rand included South West Africa and the nominally independent Bantustans under the apartheid system: Bophuthatswana , Ciskei , Transkei and Venda.
The rand takes its name from the Witwaters rand literally "white waters' ridge" in English , the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found. The rand was introduced in the then Union of South Africa on 14 February , three months before the Republic of South Africa was established.
The government introduced a mascot, Decimal Dan, "the rand-cent man" known in Afrikaans as Dan Desimaal. Its value thereafter fluctuated as various exchange rate dispensations were implemented by the South African authorities. By the early s high inflation and mounting political pressure combined with sanctions placed against the country due to apartheid started to erode its value.
By the time that State President P. As it became clear in the early s that the country was destined for black majority rule and one reform after the other was announced, uncertainty about the future of the country hastened the depreciation until the level of R 3 to the dollar was breached in November This sudden depreciation in led to a formal investigation, which in turn led to a dramatic recovery.
At the start of , however, the currency resumed its rally, and as of 19 January , was trading under R 6 to the dollar again. However, during the second and third quarters of i. April through September , the rand weakened significantly. In sterling terms, it fell from around 9. Late in , the rand rallied modestly to just over 8p, only to experience a precipitous slide during the first quarter of This downward slide could be attributed to a range of factors: The rand depreciation was exacerbated by the Eskom electricity crisis, which arose from the utility being unable to meet the country's rapidly growing energy demands.
A stalled mining industry in late led to new lows in early The rapid drop in value was stemmed when the President back-tracked and announced that the better-known previous Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan , would instead be appointed to the post. The January drop in value was also partly caused by Japanese retail investors cutting their losses in the currency to look for higher-yield investments elsewhere and due to concerns over the impact of the economic slowdown in China , South Africa's largest export partner.
In April , a Reuters poll estimated that the rand would remain relatively stable for the rest of the year, as two polls found that analysts had already factored in a possible downgrade to "junk" status. At the time, Moody's graded South Africa two notches above junk status.
At the time it had no permanent CEO, and Colin Coleman of Goldman Sachs in Africa said the company was "having discussions on solutions" on finding credible management.
Reuters noted that "South Africa is highly susceptible to global investor sentiment as the country relies on foreign money to cover its large budget and current account deficits. The 2-rand coin was introduced in , followed by 5-rand coins in Production of the 1- and 2-cent coins was discontinued in , primarily due to inflation having devalued them, but they remain legal tender.
In an effort to curb counterfeiting, a new 5-rand coin was released in August The first series of rand banknotes was introduced in in denominations of 1, 2, 10, and 20 rand, with similar designs and colours to the preceding pound notes to ease the transition. They bore the image of what was believed at the time to be Jan van Riebeeck , the first V. It was later discovered that the image was not in fact Van Riebeeck at all.
This practice was continued in the series which included the first 5-rand notes, but did not include the rand denomination. The series began with denominations of 2, 5, and 10 rand, with 20 and 50 rand introduced in This series had a major design change. In addition, the series has only one variant for each denomination of note.
Afrikaans was the first language on the 2, 10, and 50 rand, while English was the first language on 5 and 20 rand. The notes bore the image of Jan van Riebeeck. The 1-rand note was replaced by a coin. In the s, the notes were redesigned with images of the Big Five wildlife species; , and rand notes were introduced in , retaining the colour scheme of the previous issue. Coins were introduced for 2 rand and 5 rand, replacing the notes of the previous series, mainly because of the severe wear and tear experienced with low-denomination notes in circulation.
In , notes were introduced for and rand. The series has the same principal design, but with additional security features such as colour-shifting ink on the rand and higher and the EURion constellation. The obverses of all denominations are printed in English, while two other languages are printed on the reverses, thus making use of all 11 official languages of South Africa.
In , the South African Reserve Bank and commercial banks withdrew all series R banknotes due to relatively high-quality counterfeit notes in circulation. In , the South African Reserve Bank issued rand banknotes which were defective because they lacked fluorescent printing visible under UV light. In addition, the notes printed in Sweden were not the correct colour, and they were 1 mm short.
On 11 February , President Jacob Zuma announced that the country would be issuing a complete set of banknotes bearing Nelson Mandela 's image. In , the series was updated with the addition of the EURion constellation to all five notes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. The US dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions. Coins of the South African rand.
Catchy Tune Teaches New Currency". Retrieved 12 January Retrieved 13 January Retrieved 28 November South African Reserve Bank. Retrieved 11 February Retrieved 6 November Standard Catalog of World Coins: Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: Bruce II and Neil Shafer editors 7th ed.
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List 10 other official names: South African Reserve Bank , November Lesotho loti , Swazi lilangeni , and Namibian dollar at par. South African pound Reason: Currency of South Africa —. Currency of South West Africa — Note: Currency of Namibia — Legal tender in Namibia —. Currency of Basutoland — Currency of Lesotho — Legal tender in Lesotho —.
Currency of Swaziland — Legal tender in Swaziland — Circulates in Swaziland —. South African rand continues to circulate unofficially. Currency of Bechuanaland Protectorate — Currency of Botswana —More...