On Friday, 19 January, finance minister Malusi Gigaba assented to the introduction of a new R5 coin for national circulation.
The coin is aimed at celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela who would have celebrated his centenary on 18 July 2018.
It features South Africa’s coat of arms on the obverse, replacing the Black Wildebeest (or Gnu). On the reverse is a portrait of Mandela alongside a latent image featuring the years 1918 and 2018.
According to the attached documentation, the coin is legal tender as of 1 January 2018, and holds the same value as all other R5 coins.
Although South Africa’s first decimal coin series was released in 1961, no R5 coins were minted until 1994. In that year, two R5 coins were issued: the reverse of the first commemorated the presidential inauguration, while the second depicted the Gnu.
Since 1996, South Africa’s 11 official languages have been acknowledged annually, in rotation, with the words “South Africa” written around the obverse of the coin.