Nelson Mandela’s 100th birth anniversary was celebrated with the release of new banknotes and coins in South Africa. They entered circulation from 13th July only through commercial banks. The South African Reserve Bank has issued a commemorative series for the first time in its history. A commemorative R5 circulation coin was also issued.
Mandela’s birthplace of Mvezo is depicted on the new R10 banknote. Mandela’s home in Soweto is featured on the new R20 banknote. It was here where his political life began with other revolutionaries. The site where Mandela was captured near Howick after being underground for 17 months is featured on the new R50 banknote. Robben Island, where he was detained for 18 of his 27 years in prison is featured on the new R100 banknote. The moment when Mandela addressed the nation for the first time as a statesman is captured on the new R200 banknote. The commemorative R5 circulation coin features a portrait of Mandela.
Many modern security features have been included in the new coin and banknotes. The year date ‘1918’ on the obverse of the R5 coin changes to ‘2018’ when it’s tilted. An inscription ‘SARB’ and ‘R5’ is depicted on the outer edge. The banknotes have raised lines on the bottom left and right. It also has two matching numbers on the reverse. The ink changes colour on the big number on the obverse. A watermark of Mandela can be seen on the obverse when the note is held against a light source. There is raised printing on Mandela’s face on the obverse and a series of ‘little dots’ can be seen on the front-left and back-right. The full animal can be seen when held against a light source. A security patch changes colour upon tilting the banknote.
Image Courtesy: South African Reserve Bank