This currency pair is not a major. It describes the amount of ZAR you need to purchase one USD. As the most traded and most popular reserve currency, the USD is a major. The ZAR, on the other hand, is not.


The US dollar became the official currency of the United States as well as its territories, in 1792. It is the world’s most recognizable currency. Scores of other countries use US dollars, de-facto, or officially. The fact that it is the world’s top reserve currency means that more US dollars are held outside the country than within.

The law which instituted the USD as the official currency of the US was the Coinage Act of 1792. The same law ushered in all the coins in use to this day: the nickel, the dime, the penny, the dollar, the half dollar, and the quarter dollar.

On the other hand, the paper notes were not as enduring as their coin siblings. The currently used Federal Reserve Note came into existence in 1913, through the Federal Reserve Act of the same year.

Over its existence, the USD has been losing value steadily. From 1774 to 2012, the dollar shed some 97% of its buying power.

After World War II, the Bretton Woods system tied the USD to gold at a fixed rate of $35 per ounce. President Richard Nixon abolished this system in 1971.


Regarding the loss of its value, the South African rand has topped even the USD. Upon its launch in 1961, one rand was worth more than a USD ($1.40). Nowadays, you will have to pay more than R18 for a dollar.

The latest series of rand notes is the 4th series, introduced in 2018. This series carries the hallmarks of modern money, design- as well as safety-wise. The latest notes are commemorative ones, marking the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

The first series banknotes came in 1-, 2-, 10- and 20 rand denominations. The second series of rand notes landed in 1966. That time, 1-, 5- and 10 rand notes were introduced, featuring a slightly updated design.

The currency underwent several design-updates between 1978 and 1990. The 4th series started in 2005.

USD/ZAR Analysis

While the US is one of the main trading partners of South Africa, for the US, South Africa is only the 38th largest trading partner. That said, the US State Department considers SA a strategic partner in the area.

South Africa is a major exporter of gold and diamonds. The country has also exported more than 12,000 vehicles to the US in 2019, as well as automotive components.

The US currently sustains a sizable trade deficit with South Africa.

USD ZAR Currency Converter

BUY - rate is expected to increase, i.e. the first currency gains value against the second currency.
SELL - rate is expected to go down, i.e. the first currency is expected to lose value against the second currency.