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From 1835 until 1920 South Africa used British currency of pounds and shillings. In 1920 the South African pound was introduced and used until 1961 when South Africa gained independence from Great Britain. From 1961 onwards the South African rand was introduced and replaced pounds and shillings. However the value of the South African rand seriously began to depreciate from 1982.
The world was putting pressure on South Africa to end its apartheid policies. In July 1985 South Africa suspended all foreign exchange currency transactions in an attempt to stop further devaluation. Initially the situation did not improve post apartheid, uncertainty and a lack of confidence in the country led to further depreciation of the rand. Today the currency has stabilized.
South Africa is home to the highest number of millionaires in Africa. In 2014 46,800 millionaires lived in South Africa. Egypt is home to the second largest number of millionaires in the African continent with more than 20,000 people have a net wealth over $1 million US dollars.
Income inequality in post apartheid South Africa is still very much an issue. In 2014 60-65% of South Africa’s wealth belonged to 10% of the population. Inequality is significantly greater here than in the US where only 40-45% of America’s wealth is controlled by 10% of the population.
The South African Rand is the official currency of South Africa. The ISO 4217 currency code for the South African Rand is ZAR.