According to XE.com, the currency used in South Africa is the South African rand. The ISO 4127 code for the South African Rand is ZAR, which is an abbreviation of Zuid-Afrikaanse rand, a Dutch word.
The rand was introduced to South Africa in 1961, following the creation of the Republic of South Africa. Prior to that, South Africa was a British colony and used the pound sterling currency system. The rand originally traded stronger than the US dollar, but, according to the Oanda Corporation, its value began to decline in 1982. As of 2014, the currency has stabilized after reaching an all-time low of R13.84 in 2001.