The rand is the currency of legal tender in South Africa since 1961, year when it replaced the South African pound. It is divided into 100 cents.

Origins and history

The rand was introduced in South Africa in 1961, when the country became a Republic. From that moment on, and until 1982, the South African currency had a value higher than the dollar, but it started to decrease as a consequence of international pressure, along with the sanctions against the country provoked by the South African policy of the apartheid.  

Since that moment, the rand has suffered several fluctuations in the exchange rate according to political and economic movements occurred in the country. 

In 2012 the South African Reserve Bank created one series of banknotes with the face of Nelson Mandela in order to honour the importance of the role of the Nobel laureate for peace in the country. 

On the other hand, regarding financial institutions, the first bank established in the country was the Lombaard, in Cape Town, inaugurated on the 23rd April 1793.

Later in that time, on the 30th June 1921, the South African Reserve Bank started operations and the country could have a national bank. The first banknotes were issued by this bank on the 19th April 1922.

Current South African rand coins and banknotes 

Currently, we have coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1, 2, and 5 rands in circulation. 


Imagen de las monedas del rand sudafricano

Also, there are banknotes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 1,000 ZAR.

Imagen de los billetes del rand sudafricano.

Interesting facts:

  • Though the value of the rand has fluctuated greatly in the latest years, travelling trough the country is less expensive than in Western Europe or the USA.
  • As the 200 rand notes have been suffering from counterfeit, some establishments refuse to accept them.
  • The banknotes with the face of Nelson Mandela were called “randela”. 





Date of creation:



South African Reserve Bank

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1 EUR = 13.196872 ZAR / 1 ZAR = 0.075775 EUR

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