DEFINITION of 'ZAR (South African Rand)'
The currency abbreviation for the South African rand (ZAR), the currency for South Africa. The South African rand is made up of 100 cents and is often presented with the symbol R. The rand comes from the word "Witwatersrand" which means "white waters ridge". Johannesburg, the location of the majority of South Africa's gold deposits, is located on this ridge.
BREAKING DOWN 'ZAR (South African Rand)'
The South African rand was first introduced at the same time as the Republic of South Africa was established. The rand replaced the South African pound at a rate of 2 rand to 1 pound.
From introduction until 1982, the rand was actually more valuable than the U.S. dollar, after which political pressure and sanctions caused the currency to lose value.