USD to ZAR Exchange Rate

Ah, South Africa: Where you’ll find the oldest remains of modern humans, fossils of early dinosaurs, and app that calculates a bride’s dowry in cows.

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What influences the USD/ZAR exchange rate?

The Foreign Exchange Operations Section of the Financial Markets Department at the South African Reserve Bank is in charge of executing the country’s foreign exchange policy. Its functions include monitoring the developments that occur in international and local markets, accumulating foreign exchange reserves, and conducting money market swaps in foreign exchange markets for the purpose of domestic liquidity management.2


The ZAR/USD is positively associated with U.S. real GDP, South Africa’s inflation rate, U.S. stock price, and South African government bond yield, but it can be negatively influenced by South Africa’s real GDP and the country’s stock price, as well as the U.S. inflation rate and 10-year U.S. government bond yield. Also, the value of ZAR versus USD has been reduced as a result of the free floating exchange rate regime.3


South Africa has an abundance of natural resources and mineral deposits, so ZAR is also influenced by developments within global commodities markets. Other factors that can have an effect upon the USD/ZAR exchange rate include trade volumes with developed countries. The USD, in particular, can be affected by announcements regarding manufacturing output and labor stats, as the nation’s economy is based partly upon finance, high-tech goods, and industry.4

USD/ZAR Snapshot

“South Africa is a strategic partner of the United States, particularly in the areas of health, security, and trade.” – U.S. Department of State5


  • As of August 2016, South Africa had regained the top spot as Africa’s biggest economy, based on GDP.6

  • In 2015, South Africa was ranked 32nd in GDP, while the United States ranked 1st.7 In 2014, South Africa was the 36th largest exporter and the 33rd largest importer in the world, while the United States was the 2nd biggest exporter and biggest importer.8,9

  • South Africa’s top exports include diamonds, gold, platinum, iron ore, and coal briquettes, while its top imports include crude petroleum, cars, refined petroleum, gold, and computers.8


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Currency Name: South African Rand  

Currency Code: ZAR

Currency Symbol: R

Central Bank: South African Reserve Bank

Countries Used In: South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Namibia

Major Unit: One South African Rand

Minor Unit: One Cent

Note Denominations: R 10, R 20, R 50, R 100, R 200

Coin Denominations: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R 1, R 2, R 5


ZAR to USD exchange rate analysis. Check out our daily market analysis to learn the factors influencing the ZAR to USD exchange rate today.