The legal tender in South Africa is the South African Rand (R). One Rand can be divided into 100 cents (c). The currency is named after the rich goldfields of the Witwatersrand. Although Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia have their own currencies, these countries also accept the Rand as legal tender.
Cash isn’t the only payment option in South Africa. Most establishments have card facilities and you will be able to pay with your international credit card. Many hotels, shops and restaurants also accept travellers’ cheques, but it would be wise to confirm with the establishment beforehand whether or not this service is offered. Alternatively, you can exchange your travellers’ cheques for local currency at any bank.
Registered vendors in South Africa are required by law to include 14 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) into the marked or quoted price of items. If a price is quoted without VAT, it needs to be stated explicitly. As an international visitor, you may claim back the VAT you paid on any goods you intend to take out of South Africa. For more information on this refund, please see our article on VAT reclaims. You will also find leaflets on this subject at the VAT Refund Administration Offices at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, King Shaka International Airport and Cape Town International Airport.
Here are the latest exchange rates, courtesy of The Money Converter.com