The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) on Friday hosted a commemorative occasion at Freedom Park, in Pretoria, to introduce a series of banknotes and a R5 circulation coin, in honour of what would have been former President Nelson Mandela’s one-hundredth birthday this year.
SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago said the notes and coin would be circulated for about three months, with more than 400-million notes, to the value of R140-billion, printed.
The notes depict significant occasions in Mandela’s life.
The R10 banknote is inspired by the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape, featuring Madiba’s birthplace, Mvezo, while the R20 banknote features Mandela’s home in Soweto, where he defined his political life alongside other struggle icons.
The R50 banknote depicts the site where Madiba was captured near Howick following 17 months in hiding.
Madiba’s time as a political prisoner on Robben Island, where he was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years in prison, is depicted on the R100 banknote.
Inspiration for the R200 banknote comes from the moment when Madiba greeted the nation for the first time as a Statesman.
At the event, SARB also launched a mobile application which can be used to get information about the rand, the design and technical features of the currency, as well as details of what is printed on the commemorative notes and coin.
Kganyago stated that the country’s money is among the most technologically advanced in the world, owing to the high number of unique safety features.
Meanwhile, the South African Mint Company – a subsidiary of the SARB – paid tribute to Mandela in the form of a coin struck of 1 oz, 24 ct gold.
The collectable gold coin, along with the R5 commemorative coin, completes the coin series announced earlier this year, which also included collectable coins in silver and bronze alloy.
The 2018 Mandela centenary issue of the coins is part of the ‘Celebrating South Africa’ thematic series, focusing on symbols of freedom, democracy and culture. The inaugural coin in the series commemorated a century of Oliver Reginald Tambo in 2017.