South African Currency & Financial

The Rand is the currency of South Africa. Foreign exchange and other Financial Tips for Tourists

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


The SA monetary unit is the South African Rand (R) and it equals 100 cents.

The international symbol of the Rand is ZAR. Bank notes are issued in denominations of:

R 200 (orange), R 100 (purple), R 50 (pink), R 20 (brown), R 10 (green)

Coins are issued in denominations of: R 5 (silver), R2 (silver), R 1 (silver), 50 c (copper), 20 c (copper), 10 c (copper), 5 c (copper), 2 c (copper), 1 c (copper)

Credit cards

All major credit cards such as American Express, Diner’s Club, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted. Money can also be withdrawn from these cards at various cash points.

Currency control
There are no limits to the amount of cash that visitors can bring into South Africa. However, some countries have limits on the export of bank notes and visitors are therefore advised to convert most of their money to traveller’s cheques. The necessary permit should be obtained from the South African Reserve Bank (the central bank of South Africa) if visitors
wish to leave the country with more than R5 000 in cash in their possession.
Import of foreign currency is free, subject to declaration. Export of foreign currency is limited to the amount that the visitor declared upon arrival. For more information, contact any Customs and Excise Office.

Financial institutions
South Africa has a sophisticated banking system that can accommodate all international transactions.
Banking hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 to 15:30
Saturday, 8:30 to 11:00
Automatic teller machines are open 24 hours a day and only in some very small towns.
In the rural areas these facilities may be unavailable.

Commercial banking services are available two hours before and two hours after the arrival and departure times of international flights, 24 hours a day.

Foreign exchange
Banks, foreign exchange bureaus and certain hotels accept all major foreign currencies, as do most restaurants,businesses and shops. The best currencies to use would be the US Dollar, the British Pound and the Euro.
Traveller’s cheques can also be exchanged at any commercial bank.

Most hotels, shops and businesses also accept traveller’s cheques but a fee may be charged for this service. American Express offices and most hotels also have exchange facilities for guests.

Rennies Foreign Exchange Money Line
is a toll-free information line, which operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The number is 0861 11 11 77 for rates and 0860 11 11 77 for general information.
A touch-tone telephone or cellular phone is needed to access the system from within South Africa.

Major South African Commercial Banks
ABSA Bank Limited *First National Bank of Southern Africa Limited * Nedcor Bank Limited *The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited

Branches of Foreign Banks in South Africa
Banko Espirito Santo e Comercial de Lisboa ** Banque Française du Commerce Exterieur ** Credit Suisse ** Deutsche Bank ** National Bank of Egypt ** Standard Chartered Bank ** Swiss Bank Corporation

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