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Common Monetary Area

The Common Monetary Area (CMA) links South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland into a monetary union. It is allied to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Namibia automatically became a member upon independence, but withdrew with the introduction of the Namibia dollar in 1993. Namibia has chosen not to pursue its own flexible exchange rate policy, and the Namibia dollar is at par with the South African rand and there is no immediate prospect of change. The same is true with the lilangeni of Swaziland and the loti of Lesotho. The rand continues to circulate freely in these countries. Foreign exchange regulations and monetary policy throughout the CMA continue to reflect the influence of the South African Reserve Bank.

Of the SACU members, only Botswana is currently out of the CMA, having replaced the rand with the pula in 1976.

The CMA, enacted in July 1986,[1] originated from the Rand Monetary Area (RMA), which was established in December 1974;[2] the signatories of the latter were South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland.[3] The CMA has since been replaced by the present Multilateral Monetary Area (MMA) as of February 1992, when Namibia formally joined the monetary union.

See also


  2. ^ [5] African Studies Thesaurus
  3. ^ [6]"South Africa’s experience of regional currency areas and the use of foreign currencies", Lambertus van Zyl
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