Why is South Africa abbreviated as ZA?

By | November 26, 2015

Why is South Africa abbreviated as ZA?
I just got back from South Africa, where most of the URL’s end with .co.za. I’ve also seen the country abbreviated as ZA. Is there a reason why ZA is used instead of SA? None of the official names for South Africa involve a Z and the domain .sa doesn’t seem to be used by any other country, as far as I can tell.
The only answer I got so far was something along the lines of “they ran out of letters by the time they got to the bottom of the world.”

It’s from the Dutch Zuid-Afrikaanse.Which means “South African”; the Dutch for “South Africa” is “Zuid-Afrika.”
This raises more questions than it asks, though. Why would the official abbreviation come from the country’s name in Dutch?
The Afrikaans for “South Africa” is “Suid-Afrika” so SA would be more logical.