South Africa’s Reserve Bank has announced that new banknotes bearing the face of SA’s former president, Nelson Mandela, will come into circulation next Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The new banknotes feature an image of Mandela on the front with images of the “Big Five” animals on the back.

“Our currency is a unique symbol of our nationhood, with many of us handling banknotes every day. The Reserve Bank is proud to be able to honour South Africa’s struggle icon and first democratically elected President in this way, and we thank all our stakeholders for their hard work in making this process possible,” Reserve Bank Governor, Gill Marcus said.

The new note series will have the same R10; R20; R50; R100 and R200 denominations and sizes with the engraving of the former President’s face appearing on the different coloured currency. The reverse sides of the notes will carry an image of one of the country’s big five.

While urging the public to familiarize themselves with the security features of the new banknotes in order to be able to identify their authenticity by utilising the look, feel and tilt method; the Bank says the current and new bank notes will co-circulate and both remain legal tender. Public awareness campaign with advertisements aired on television, radio, newspapers and magazines,as well as  social media platforms have been used to educate the public.

Road shows and public outreach events were also held nationwide including common monetary areas (CMA) such as Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe also included in these awareness efforts.

The introduction of the Mandela banknotes was made public in February by South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma.The announcement falls on the day that Mandela was released from prison in 1990.

Mandela will become the first person to appear on the country’s banknotes since the dawn of democracy, he said.

Security features of bank notes are upgraded every seven to 10 years in South Africa to assist in preventing counterfeiting. Its  current note series was upgraded in 2005.

Image via Reuters


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