Calculators for Southern Africanists

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Background: While using material from the Transkei magisterial archives in writing my dissertation, I always found myself converting from the currency and land units in use in South Africa in the early 20th century. I set up a spreadsheet to do the conversions, then a discussion of morgen-hectare conversions on H-SAfrica inspired me to convert this to a publicly available format. Here it is.

Instructions for use: Both calculators work the same way. Enter the value you want to convert, then click the button to the left of the field. The other fields in the calculator will display the converted values. For example, to convert 10s. 4d. to decimalized pounds or rand, enter 10 in the field labeled s and 4 in the field labeled d, then click the "Pounds / Shillings / Pence" button.

Notes: Rand conversions are based on R2 = £1, the rate at the time of the introduction of the Rand, and are accurate to two decimal places. Area conversions use the factors which were formerly provided at, which are accurate to four decimal places (link broken as of 7/03). The calculators use Javascript and are subject to slight rounding errors (e.g. 10000 morgen converts to 8565 ha , but 8565 ha converts back to 9999.6375 morgen).

Currency Conversions

£ s d

Land Area Conversions


Other old British currencies

Farthing: ¼d
Half-penny: ½d
Penny: 1d
Three-penny bit: 3d
Groat: 4d
Sixpence (or tanner): 6d
Shilling (or bob):1s
Florin or two shilling piece: 2s
Half-crown: 2s 6d
Crown: 5s
Half-Sovereign: 10s
Sovereign: 20s or £1
Guinea: 21s