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The Currency of South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR). The Rand replaced the South African pound when South Africa became an independent republic in 1961.
One rand is made up 100 cents. The Rand is available in denominations of R1, R2, R5 (coins) and R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 (paper notes). These notes nowadays bear images of South African wildlife as opposed to the images of political and historical significance in the early 1990's. The cents are available as coins in denominations of 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c.
Whilst you can change money in local banks, ie First National Bank, Standard Bank, ABSA, Nedbank or at Bureau de Change, ie Rennies Travel, American Express etc., ATM's are in abundance on streets, in shopping malls, many local corner shops and petrol stations and you can simply use your overseas debit card to obtain local currency. The banking system is world class and you often obtain a better service than in many western countries. An important tip for travellers when drawing cash at an ATM is to not accept help from strangers who offer to assist you with drawing money. This is a fairly common scam in some big cities used to obtain your pin code or card details. All ATMs have the option to transact in English so if an ATM is in a foreign language and you can't switch it to English rather opt to use a different ATM
Banking hours are from 9am to 3.30pm on weekdays and 9am to 11am on Saturdays. Some bureaux de change are open on Sundays depending on where they are located.