Reserve Bank honours Madiba centenary with new banknotes

The new R10 note. (Sakhile Ndlanzi/ANA)

The new R10 note. (Sakhile Ndlanzi/ANA)

As of Friday, South Africans can expect to see a new five rand coin as well as new banknotes at local ATMs and vendors. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has printed 400-million banknotes in commemoration of the centennial birthday anniversary of former president Nelson Mandela.

The notes capture the life of Madiba from his birth in Mvezo in the Eastern Cape to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994.

“The notes are available as of today, they are going into circulation as of today and will build up into circulation over the next few months”, said head of currency management Pradeep Maharaj told the media at the launch on Friday.

“This is your money and not our money and you earn and you decide how you want to spend it and it become valuable because you trust it, the more you know you and know more about your notes, the easy it becomes for you to protect your hard earned money,” Maharaj added.

The SARB also launched a mobile app to educate citizens about the security, technical and design features on the banknotes.
Maharaj said the app was always part the banks agenda to educate people more about bank notes and also use it as a platform to engage with people.

The app which can be downloaded on iStore and Google Play store, has a feature where citizens can scan the notes to see the additional changes on them.

The R10 note illustrates his life in Mvezo, the R20 is a snapshot of his time in Soweto and the R50 note draws on his life in Howick. His imprisonment at Robben Island is on the R100, and the R200 note marks his term as president.

“We didn’t incur any additional notes costs, we simply printed the same number of notes that we would have printed in a year but just dedicated 400-million of those notes to the centenary series,” said SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago.

Kganyago cautioned the new notes are not a replacement of the older ones first introduced in 2012.

The central bank has also gone the extra mile in including minor enhancements on the R5 coins. One side reflects 2018 and other side of the coin reflects 1918, the year of Madiba’s birth.

​Thulebona Mhlanga

​Thulebona Mhlanga

Thulebona Mhlanga is financial trainee journalist  at the Mail & Guardian, currently enrolled for a masters in politics at the University of Johannesburg. In addition to her fervent interest in business writing, reading and educating others around issues of financial literacy, she volunteers her time to projects assisting women and promoting social justice.  Read more from ​Thulebona Mhlanga

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