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South African Currency - The South African Rand (ZAR)

The rand is the currency of South Africa. It takes its name from the Witwatersrand (White-waters-ridge in Afrikaans), the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found. It was first introduced in 1961, coinciding with the establishment of the Republic of South Africa.

It replaced the South African pound as legal tender, at the rate of two rand per pound or ten shillings to the rand. The rand has the symbol 'R' and is divided into 100 cents, symbol 'c'.

Coins are available in and seven denominations, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5. 1 and 2 cent coins were also available until their discontinuation in April 2002

The first series of rand banknotes bore the image of Jan van Riebeeck, the first V.O.C. administrator of Cape Town. In the 1990s, the notes were redesigned with images of the Big Five wildlife species.

The new notes and coins are also printed in all eleven official languages of South Africa. They are currently available in R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.


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