Money, Foreign Exchange and Banking in South Africa
South African Money, Currency, Foreign Exchange and Banking Advice and Tips.
South Africa is an inexpensive destination, with excellent access to banking and foreign exchange facilities.
South Africa's unit of currency is the Rand, which is divided into 100 cents. Notes come in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200; and coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5. There are two R5 coins in circulation, both of which are legal currency. All transactions are rounded down to the nearest 5c.
With a favourable exchange rate for many international currencies, you'll find South Africa an inexpensive destination, with excellent access to banking and foreign exchange facilities.
You'll also find South Africa an easy destination to navigate. From the moment you step off the plane, you'll start seeing banks, bureaux de change, and automatic tellers.
The major banks have branches as well as automated teller machines (ATMs) in most large towns - and all over the cities. ATMs are linked to all major international networks, and it is possible to draw currency from them. They accept Cirrus or Maestro cards as well as all major credit and debit cards. You will not be charged any fees over and above those levied by your own bank.
Banks are generally open from 8.30am/9am to 3.30pm Mondays to Fridays, and 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays. Many bank outlets in larger towns, and especially those in shopping centres, have extended these hours, and some are open on Sundays. Branches at airports adjust their hours to accommodate international flights.
When it comes to paying for fuel, you can pay cash or use your credit card. Filling stations - or garages as we call them - used to be cash-only operations, until the government changed regulations in 2009. This means that some smaller stations may still not accept cards - check with the attendant what payment method they accept before filling up. Luckily, most filling stations have ATMs on site.