About South Africa
South Africa is a diverse country that speaks a large number of languages, many which belong to minority groups. Geographically, South Africa is also diverse and includes mountains, deserts and long sandy beaches.
South Africa has a British heritage, mainly in the more populated areas, and there are also a small number of residents with Indian heritage. Some of the remote areas of South Africa, are difficult to travel through, however in the major regions, and capital cities, you will find the country to be progressive and advanced in technology.
South Africa has many natural resources, and also many growing options for income as a tourist destination. In the stock exchange, South Africa is listed in the top ten. The proximity to other countries, and the diverse and growing nature of the country, makes South Africa a practical and desirable destination for businesses and tourists who are planning to travel there.
Banking in South Africa
The South African banking system is advanced and can be compared with other industrialised counties. It is considered to be a well regulated and strong system, allowing The Financial Services Board to oversee the regulation of financial markets. Finance institutions are regulated by the South African Reserve Bank. These include banks, insurance brokers, and financial advisors.
The sizes of the banks vary in South Africa, and there are both large and small banks. The diversity and range of services allows for consumer choice, and it can meet a range of business and personal needs. Many international banks and businesses have entered the South African market because of the great conditions, and the stability of the system. Both investment and merchant banking are strong in South Africa.
Technology in South Africa is advanced, and you can expect a range of services including personal banking, business banking, insurance, finance for loans and mortgages, and other financial advice services. You will also have access to credit cards, debit cards, online and telephone banking services and cheque accounts. There is a wide network of ATMs, and a large number of international services including interpreters and money change facilities.
South African Currency
In South Africa the legal currency is called the rand. It was established in its current form in 1961, along with the Republic of South Africa which uses the decimal system. One rand can be divided evenly into 100 units, called cents. The bank notes that are available in South African rands are 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 denominations. Coins include 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2, and R5 denominations.
If you are travelling to South Africa, consider changing your currency there before you leave. Although the rand should be accepted at most major international exchange outlets, your best option is doing so within South Africa itself.
Major Banks in South Africa
African Bank Limited
African Bank Limited is also known as the African Bank and is a subsidiary of African Bank Investments Limited. It is a commercial bank that is locally controlled by the Reserve Bank of South Africa.
Bidvest Bank Limited
Bidvest Bank Limited is also known as Bidvest Bank. It is a commercial and locally controlled bank, by the Reserve Bank of South Africa.
Capitec Bank Limited
Capitec is another commercial and locally controlled bank in the Republic of South Africa.
FirstRand Bank is a subsidiary of First Rand Limited and is also named First Rand Group. The main offices are in Johannesburg, South Africa.