19 October 2012

Madiba's image on new SA currency

The image of the nation’s favourite grandfather, Nelson Mandela, will appear on South African bank notes by the end of 2012.

Specimen of the new R10 Nelson Mandela banknote. Specimen of the new R10 Nelson Mandela banknote.

A country’s currency is a fundamental component of its national identity. It should be a reflection of its culture and heritage. South Africa’s banknotes have reflected aspects of its culture and heritage since the inception of the South African rand in 1961 - Gill Marcus, South African Reserve Bank Governor.

The face of former President Nelson Mandela will adorn a new series of banknotes to be introduced into circulation by the end of 2012.

The image of Madiba, the first democratically-elected president, will feature on the front of the notes, while the Big 5 animals so strongly associated with our currency will remain on the reverse.  The new notes will appear in the same denominations, sizes and colours as the existing series, namely R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 notes.

According to the South African Reserve Bank, the new banknotes incorporate state-of-the-art security features and enhancements for the visually impaired, including raised print on both sides.

The new and old banknotes will be in co-circulation as legal tender for an indefinite period, as the swap is expected to take some time.

Gill Marcus, Reserve Bank Governor says: 'a country’s currency is a fundamental component of its national identity. It should be a reflection of its culture and heritage. South Africa's banknotes have reflected aspects of its culture and heritage since the inception of the South African rand in 1961.'

A national communication campaign to educate the public and raise awareness of the new notes has been launched by the Reserve Bank.  Information will be widely publicised on broadcast, print and social media platforms, as well as through a nationwide road show to all the country's 9 provinces. The Reserve Bank’s head office building in Pretoria has been wrapped with a 25-storey high billboard to create further public awareness of the new banknotes.