South African Rand
South African Rand

The symbol ZAR is that the currency abbreviation for the South African rand.

The South African rand is formed from 100 cents and is usually presented with the symbol R.

The rand comes from the word "Witwatersrand" which suggests "white waters ridge".

Johannesburg, the situation of a majority of South Africa's gold deposits, is found on this ridge.

Origins of ZAR (South African Rand)

The South African rand was first introduced in February 1961, just before the Republic of South Africa was established.

The rand replaced the South African pound at a rate of two rand to 1 pound.

Up until the first 1970s, the rand was worth around R1.5 per U.S. dollar.

However, over the following decades the rand has depreciated at a rapid rate, with substantial moves at the turn of the 21st century, and through the good Recession.

As the political landscape changed within the early 1990s, the uncertainty saw the rand slowly depreciate to record low levels.

The fall was exasperated when in 2001 the land reforms began to begin .

Soon after, the 9/11 attacks saw global uncertainty hit and therefore the rand take another steep dive, falling to R13 per U.S. dollar.

The South African Rand (ZAR) was introduced in February 1961 and mostly held a gentle peg against the US dollar until the top of apartheid.

Since then, its value has depreciated because the South African economy has become increasingly linked to the remainder of the planet .

The currency for South Africa

For the foremost part, rand's value was linked to the worth of gold, South Africa's main export, during its youth .

But major world developments have also determined ZAR's price trajectory.

After steadying through the first parts of the century, the rand was one among many emerging market currencies that plummeted during the financial crisis.

As investors flocked to shelter currencies like the U.S. dollar and therefore the Japanese yen, emerging market currencies suffered.

In the span of 12-months the rand fell by nearly 50 percent against the U.S. dollar.

Today, the rand is somewhat correlated with gold prices because the South African economy is reliant on its gold exports.

However, as a fragile economy and unstable political landscape the rand is at the mercy of worldwide uncertainty.

The figures depicted within the rand's banknotes reflect South Africa's shifting identity and priorities, political and otherwise.

Up until the 1990s, the rand mainly contained photos of individuals and notable leaders from the apartheid regime.

After dismantling of the apartheid system, photos of wildlife figures were also included.

In 2012, a rand banknote containing an image of ANC leader Mandela was released.