Gradually, Then Suddenly
SAF139a, 20 Rand (ZAR), 2013, P-139

Slot Comment:

South African Rand

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Note Details


Set Details

Note Description: 20 Rand ND (2013) - Printer: SABN
Grade: 66 EPQ
Country: South Africa
Note Number: SAF139
Certification #: 8046501-044
Owner: Revenant
Set Category: World
Set Name: Gradually, Then Suddenly
Slot Name: SAF139a, 20 Rand (ZAR), 2013, P-139
Research: Currently not available

Owner's Description

South Africa is one of Zimbabwe’s neighbors and it’s historically been one of the most stable and prosperous countries in Southern Africa. This is probably one of the reasons the South African Rand - along with the Botswanan Pula - is one of the few African currencies in the basket of currencies that replaced the Zimbabwe Dollar in domestic circulation in 2008/2009. Botswana is another neighbor of Zimbabwe, to the West.

From mid-2008 to 2010 you could usually get between 7 and 10 South African Rand (ZAR) for 1 USD, with 7 to 8 Rand to the dollar being typical during this period. So, a 20 Rand bill would have been roughly equivalent to 2-3 USD during the time period when the Zimbabwe dollar died, and the Zimbabwean economy switched more fully to using foreign currency domestically. 10 Rand and 20 Rand are the smaller denominations of South African Currency and these likely would have been the dominant denominations in circulation in Zimbabwe at the time. The 50, 100 and 200 Rand notes probably would have been present but less common.

Zimbabwe’s adoption of the South African Rand became somewhat more ironic and more tragic – for Zimbabwe – when, in 2017 and 2018, South Africa’s ruling party started moving towards a land redistribution program aimed at decreasing the faction of the country’s land owned by a rich white minority and giving it to the black majority. This is very similar in principal to the program that became the beginning of the end for Zimbabwe. This had the ghost of the Zimbabwean dollar and economy has been referenced many times in media. South Africa’s government insisted that their program would not be a “smash and grab” and would be handled “responsibly” – whatever that means. This initiative has sparked concerns about the long-term prospects for South Africa’s economy and for the Rand. In 2015, 1 US dollar could buy you about 12-13 Rand – already up considerably from the 7-8 Rand you could expect in 2008/2009. In April 2020, 1 US Dollar buys you about 17-19 Rand, meaning that the Rand has lost about 50-60% of its value against the dollar in about 10 years.

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