Live and Historical USD/ZAR Rates
This chart represents the value of the United States dollar (USD) against the value of the South African rand (ZAR) – how many ZAR can purchase one USD. In this pairing only the USD is a major commodity. USD/ZAR does not form a major pair nor do they form a commodity pair.
The U.S Dollar
The dollar is the most common currency in international transactions, used both in the United States and several other countries. Another 23 currencies are pegged to the dollar. The US had extended political conflict with China for pegging the yuan to the dollar. At one time, world currencies were pegged to the dollar, but the US led the way towards floating currencies in the early ’70s. The value of the dollar is strongly controlled by the Federal Reserve, which makes adjustments primarily through lending interest rates. However, it is a floating currency and value is apparent in consumer price indices or other major measures. Many commodities such as gold and petroleum are traded almost exclusively in dollars.
The South African Rand
The South African Rand and the Republic of South Africa both came into existence in 1961. The first 20+ years of the Rand enjoyed a valuation of more than the US Dollar, and even until 1984 the exchange rate still hovered around 1-2 Rand for 1 USD. After that, a series of political, economic and global factors, from apartheid sanctions to other kinds of political instability, sent the ZAR on a decline that has prevented it from returning to its original value. The Rand is split into 100 cents, and all prices have been rounded to multiples of 5, after the drastic inflation of over a decade pushed the one and two-cent coins out of use. The ZAR is the official currency of Namibia and the Common Monetary Area, which contains South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.
One of the basic relationships between USD and ZAR is the fact that gold is traded almost exclusively in dollars. Since South Africa is one of the world’s largest producers, this is a significant dynamic. However, South Africa has been falling behind because of mine exhaustion and poor management. Overall, the biggest factors for this pair are the price of gold and diamonds. The future of South Africa’s mines will also have an expanding influence over time.
See all forex charts