All I really need is money; all I really want is money. I mean money makes the world go round and has since been in existence. 

From the origins of bartering to modern money, this is how the system has evolved. At the dawn of humanity, bartering was used in lieu of money to buy goods. As early man began to rear domestic livestock, one of the earliest forms of barters included cattle, sheep, as well as vegetables and grain.  

No one knows for sure who first invented such money, but historians believe metal objects were first used as money as early as 5,000 B.C. Around 700 B.C., the Lydians became the first Western culture to make coins. Other countries and civilizations soon began to mint their own coins with specific values. 

In South Africa (SA) the rand was established as the official South African currency on 14 February 1961. The Rand was introduced in the-then Union of South Africa, three months before the Republic of South Africa was established. 

The Rand has since developed into a liquid emerging market currency, most commonly traded against the US dollar. When the rand debuted, it traded at R2 to the pound, or 10 shillings to the rand. The coins bore the forward-facing portrait of Jan van Riebeeck on the obverse. 

Now when it comes to where you keep your money that’s usually at the bank. The first bank to be established in SA was the Lombaard Bank in Cape Town, which opened its doors for business on 23 April 1793.  

While the first private bank in SA was the Cape of Good Hope Bank which opened in 1837. As the hinterland developed and trade expanded, more private banks came into existence. Three large trading houses as well as one mining firm issued their own paper money between 1850 and 1860. 

Fast forward to today and in SA the South African Reserve Bank has the sole right to make, issue and destroy banknotes and coin. The South African Mint Company, a subsidiary of the Bank, mints all the coins on behalf of the Reserve Bank. 

And today one of the biggest banks is Capitec Bank in terms of the number of clients who use it as their main bank, according to the Publisher Audience Measure Survey (PAMS). PAMS compared South Africa’s main banks; First National Bank (FNB), Standard Bank, ABSA and Nedbank.

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