Currency Exchange in South Africa is fairly easy. From the moment you step off the plane you will see a lot of banks, exchange bureaus and automatic tellers.
The South African national currency is the Rand (ZAR). Denominations include the 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 1 Rand, 2 Rand and 5 Rand coins, as well as the 10 Rand, 20 Rand, 50 Rand, 100 Rand and 200 Rand banknotes.
Once in South Africa you will soon realize that the country is a really cheap destination. For example, one US Dollar buys you two cans of coke or 0.25 gallons /1 liter of gas. A British Pound is enough to buy a hamburger or three cans of coke while for 3 GBP you can stay in a bed & breakfast. One Euro is enough to buy a very good cup of coffee in a restaurant.
Check out this conversion rate tool before planning your vacation.
On weekdays –Monday to Friday- banks are generally open from 9 AM to 3:30 PM. On Saturdays banks are open from 8:30 AM to 11 AM. However, at the airports, the schedules are changed according to needs.
All major credit cards are used in South Africa but MasterCard and Visa are the most popular. While you can use credit cards in the big towns, in most small towns you will need to use cash.
Note: you cannot buy fuel with credit cards but you can pay the road tolls with them.