Mandela to be honoured on banknotes

Penwell Dlamini

THE SA Reserve Bank (SARB) launched an awareness campaign yesterday about a new range of banknotes honouring former president Nelson Mandela.

It said the theme of the range was “One of a Kind” and it would enter circulation before the end of the year.

The new R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10 notes would show Mandela’s face on the front, and the Big Five animals, which appear on the existing notes, on the back. Security features would include watermarks, micro-printing and unique numbering. There would be raised printing for the visually impaired.

The new banknotes would be the same size as those already in circulation.

“We are pleased to issue this new series of banknotes which reflects South Africa’s pride as a nation and pays tribute to a much-loved world icon,” SARB governor Gill Marcus said.

Marcus said the campaign had already started in other countries on the continent which used the South African rand, including Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania.

The banknotes already in circulation remained legal tender.

Marcus said that as at December last year, banknotes to the value of R100-billion were circulating within the South African economy.

It was important for people to be familiar with the features of the new notes so they could identify counterfeits, she said.

Marcus said it was regarded as a best practice internationally for central banks to upgrade the security features of their banknotes every six to eight years. “This is to combat counterfeiting, which diminishes the value of real money, robs countries worldwide of billions of rand annually and tarnishes the credibility of a currency, thereby impacting on the growth of that economy.

“We’ve done our best to ensure they cannot be replicated.”

The campaign, which cost R32-million, would end in March. Marcus could not say how long it would take for the existing notes to work their way out of the system. – Sapa

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