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    South Africa - South African rand - Currency Guide


    Foreign exchange guide to South Africa and the South African rand (ZAR)


    USD/ZAR Trend (90-day)

    USD to ZAR at 14.60 is 0.8% below its 90-day average, range 14.14-15.32.

    The below interactive chart displays the USD/ZAR trend and UP DOWN HIGH LOW alerts

    USD to ZAR Currency Trend Chart

    General Currency Info - South African rand

    Trading in South Africa’s rand contributes to 1% of daily foreign exchange market volume. Like a dollar currency, the rand is subdivided into 100 cents. The word rand comes from Witwatersrand – that being the name of the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built.

    The rand has traditionally been considered a ‘commodities currency’ due to South Africa being a resource-rich nation who export a great deal of gold, platinum, coal and oil, among other commodities. However, in a study by the Bank for International Settlements in 2016, researchers concluded that of eleven currencies studied, the rand could be predicted the least by changes in commodities prices.

    As an emerging market currency, the rand is considered riskier than currencies from major developed nations, which means that its value will fall against those currencies (especially JPY, USD, CHF, GBP and EUR) during periods of economic uncertainty or when global geopolitical risk is elevated, or during bouts of high market volatility.

    Historically, the rand’s lowest valuation against the US dollar came in January 2016 when USD/ZAR reached 16.84. It's all-time high occurred in June 1973 when USD/ZAR stood at just 0.67. More recently, since 2008, the rand was strongest in May 2011 when USD/ZAR fell to 6.54.


    ZAR Forecasts and Trends

    In April 2021 the South African rand is trading at a 15 month high against the US dollar.

    US dollar to South African rand - Historical Rates

    USD/ZAR wasChangePeriod
    04 Oct 2021
    2.5% 2 Weeks
    20 Jul 2021
    0.3% 90 Days
    18 Oct 2020
    11.2% 1 Year
    19 Oct 2016
    5.8% 5 Years
    21 Oct 2011
    81.4% 10 Years
    23 Oct 2001
    54.6% 20 Years
    USD/ZAR change over periods to 18-Oct-2021

    $10,000 USD
    R146,049 ZAR

    Converted at USD/ZAR interbank rate, compare Send Money and Currency Exchange exchange rates.

    USD to ZAR - Quick Amounts

    Sell USD   →   Buy ZAR
    $ 1 R 14.60
    $ 5 R 73.00
    $ 10 R 146.00
    $ 20 R 292.00
    $ 50 R 730.00
    $ 100 R 1,460
    $ 250 R 3,650
    $ 500 R 7,300
    $ 1,000 R 14,600
    $ 2,000 R 29,200
    $ 5,000 R 73,000
    $ 10,000 R 146,000
    $ 20,000 R 292,000
    $ 50,000 R 730,000
    $ 100,000 R 1,460,000
    $ 0.0685 R 1
    $ 0.3424 R 5
    $ 0.6847 R 10
    $ 1.3694 R 20
    $ 3.4235 R 50
    $ 6.8470 R 100
    $ 17.12 R 250
    $ 34.24 R 500
    $ 68.47 R 1,000
    $ 136.94 R 2,000
    $ 342.35 R 5,000
    $ 684.70 R 10,000
    $ 1,369 R 20,000
    $ 3,424 R 50,000
    $ 6,847 R 100,000

    More amounts


    Frequently Asked Questions


    What currency should I use in South Africa?

    The domestic currency in South Africa is the South African rand.

    What is the South African rand currency code and symbol?

    The three letter currency code for the South African rand is ZAR — symbol is R.

    Which countries use the South African rand?

    It is the domestic currency in    South Africa.

    Is the South African rand a closed currency?

    No, the South African rand is freely available and convertible. See guide: What is a closed currency?


    Travel, Currency and Money saving tips for South Africa

    South Africa is one of the continent's best safari destinations, offering the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and more in accessible parks and reserves. You can drive right into the epic wilderness at Kruger, Kgalagadi and other parks, or join khaki-clad rangers on guided drives and walks. But it's not all about big-game sightings – wildlife watching here also teaches you to enjoy the little things.

    South Africa's landscapes are stunning, from the burning Karoo and Kalahari semideserts to the misty heights of the Drakensberg range and the massive Blyde River Canyon. Even in urban Cape Town, you need only look up to see the beautiful fynbos (indigenous flora) climbing the slopes of Table Mountain, while nearby, two of the world's most dramatic coastal roads lead to Cape Point and Hermanus.

    What currency is used in South Africa?

    The local currency is the South African Rand. The Rand to the USD fluctuates regularly, sometimes extremely, depending on when you travel, you should check the rates both when you price and when you book. Many places will take all the usual credit cards, but again, some may not, plan according to your trip. If you're in a big city like Joburg (what the locals call Johannesburg) it’s not a problem; if you're staying in a rural area, plan for extra cash.

    You will often be charged a foreign transaction fee of about 3 percent by your bank, whether you get cash out or use a credit card. This can be expensive, so make sure you budget for it. If you want your debit/credit cards to work in South Africa, or any foreign country, call your bank before you leave so your bank does not freeze your account thinking it may be fraud.

    There are limits on the amount of currency you can bring into South Africa. For cash in South African Rand (ZAR), the limit is 25,000ZAR. For combinations of cash in other currencies, the limit is US$10,000 (or equivalent). There is a high incidence of credit card fraud and fraud involving ATMs. Make sure your PIN is not seen by others when withdrawing money from an ATM. Refuse offers of help from bystanders. don't change large sums of money in busy public areas.

    How to travel in South Africa?

    Public transport in South Africa, particularly the bus system, is not ideal and neither is the public train system in South Africa unless it is the luxury passenger trains that have an itinerary all of their own. Public trains and busses are not recommended in most areas. In Johannesburg, the relatively new Gauteng Rail System, is a good option, make sure your hotel has a train station near enough and you may be able to take the train from the airport.

    A convenient alternative to standard bus lines, the Baz Bus caters almost exclusively to backpackers and travellers. It offers hop-on, hop-off fares and door-to-door services between Cape Town and Jo’burg via the Garden Route, Port Elizabeth, Mthatha, Durban and the Northern Drakensberg. Baz Bus drops off and picks up at hostels, and it has transfer arrangements with those off its route in areas such as the Wild Coast. You can book directly with Baz Bus online, by email, phone or SMS, or at hostels.

    There are a number of budget airlines connecting all the major South African cities. It rarely works out cheaper to fly with the main carrier, South African Airways (SAA). Domestic fares are generally affordable but it depends on the route. A budget flight from Jo’burg to Cape Town, a popular route served by numerous airlines, costs around R1000, while Cape Town to East London, a less competitive route, might cost double that.

    Travel tips for South Africa.

    South Africa is cold at night in June and July. To make sure you’re warm, take flannel pajamas and socks for sleeping. Most hotels, even the expensive international ones, do not have central heat (just a window unit), single pane glass, and poor insulation.

    Immigration rules require parents travelling with children (under 18) to show the child’s full unabridged birth certificate (or a certified copy). The full unabridged birth certificate should list the child’s details and both parents’ details. The abridged (short) birth certificate which only lists the child’s particulars won’t be accepted.

    You can drink the water. In general, the water quality is very good. From time to time, tourists have been known to suffer from a tummy ache or two. You may want to order bottled water to drink, but you needn’t be hyper vigilant. You can certainly use ice made from tap water, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables that have been washed with tap water.

    f you've been to the Caribbean or Southeast Asia, you are aware of how the concept of time can shift. This laid-back, slow pace is also found in South Africa. You might find yourself anxiously tapping your feet for that waiter to come by or hotel clerk to check you in, even in big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town.


    Travel money for South Africa

    Save money and time by Ordering your South African rand online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the ZAR cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

    Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

    For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in South African rand otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.


    Send Money to South Africa - Best Rates

    To get a good (and fair) exchange rate when sending money to South Africa you need to find and compare exchange rates for International Money Transfers (IMTs).

    The available FX rates for sending money abroad can be very different to the mid-market (wholesale) rate which you see reported online and in the News.

    You should especially compare your own bank's exchange rates to those available from Money Transfer specialists to see how much you can save - we make that calculation easy in the below table.

    Get a better deal for foreign transfers to South Africa

    When sending money to South Africa it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 4 simple steps :

    1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
    2. You specify the local or South African rand amount you want to transfer
    3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
    4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted ZAR amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in South Africa.

    Use the above Send to South African rand calculator to compare the exchange rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more South African rand deposited into the recipient bank account and less margins and fees kept by the banks!

    Where in South Africa is popular for expats buying property?

    Cape Town. Despite the strength of the rand (it has made sizeable gains against the dollar and the pound since the start of 2016), foreign buyers - notably those from Germany, Sweden and the UK - are increasingly active.

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