Sarb to launch commemorative Mandela notes

In celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birth centenary, the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) launches its first commemorative banknote series

These notes will cover all denominations, namely R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.

As part of the celebrations, the South African Mint, a subsidiary of the Sarb, will also be issuing a commemorative R5 coin.

The new notes depict the standard visage of Nelson Mandela on the one side, but instead of the Big Five animals on the reverse, it shows a younger Mandela in different iconic scenes related to his legacy.

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According to the statement by the Sarb, as part of the preparations for the launch, test packs of the commemorative banknotes were made available to members of the broader cash industry.

This is to allow them to make adequate preparations in relation to issues such as adaptions of cash processing and cash dispensing machines, ticketing and machines.

“While these test packs were governed by strict confidentiality provisions, it has come to the Sarb’s attention that certain breaches have occurred, and as a result, some of the designs have been circulating on social media.”

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“In order to avoid confusion and unnecessary speculation, the Sarb has decided to release all the designs ahead of the official launch scheduled for 13 July,” it says on the statement.

These commemorative banknotes and R5 coin will co-circulate for a limited time, together with the current Mandela banknote series and the existing R5 coin, and both sets will remain legal tender.