“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,” said Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus on Tuesday.
The new banknotes feature an image of the former President on the front, with images of the “Big Five” animals on the back of the various banknote denominations.
The current and new banknotes will co-circulate and both remain legal tender, said the bank, while also urging the public to familiarise 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 had conducted an education and public awareness campaign with advertisements aired on television, radio, newspapers and magazines, as well as online and on social media platforms 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.
At the launch of the communication campaign to introduce the notes in September, Winnie Madikizela Mandela, said she was proud and thankful to the staff of the Reserve Bank. The new note series will have the same R10; R20; R50; R100 and R200 denominations.
The announcement of the former President’s appearance on new bank notes was made in February.