Friday/ South African currency

While spending money here I have to divide by 7, since there are 7 South African Rand in one US Dollar.   I remember on my first trip to the USA in 1990 that I had to multiply by 2.5 – that’s how dramatically the exchange rate has changed.  (But the rand is actually too ‘strong’, it is hampering exports and job growth in South Africa).   The Rand takes its name from the Witwatersrand (Eng. White-waters-ridge), the ridge upon which Johannesburg  is built and where most of South Africa’s gold deposits were found.  The rand has the symbol “R” and is subdivided into 100 cents, symbol “c”.   The Rand notes denotes the so-called Big Five, a reference to five of Africa’s greatest wild animals – some people say the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot.  (Of course they are protected today but poaching is a stubborn problem).   Which are they?  The rhino, the African elephant, the lion, the African buffalo and the leopard.

 

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