Ever wondered how a restaurant would react if you tried to pay for your R200 meal in only 50 cent coins? Turns out, you can’t.
In a statement published on its official Twitter page, the South African Reserve Bank clarified that the 10 cent and 20 cent pieces are still legal tender in South Africa, and can be used as payment for any purchase of good and services.
However, it highlighted that there are limits to how many coins may be used per transaction, as per section 17 (2) (b) of the South African Reserve Bank Act of 1989.
As per the regulations, the following limits are in place on how many coins you can use in a transaction:
- 5c to the value of 50c
- 10c to the value of R5
- 20c to the value of R5
- 50c to the value of R5
- R1 to the value of R50
And what happens if a retailer refuses to accept a 10 cent or 20 cent pieces from consumers as payment – regardless of being under the limit?
The Reserve Bank said that if this happens to you, it’s important to stand your ground and ask to see a manager. If they still refuse‚ you can report them to the Reserve Bank.
All coins currently being circulated in South Africa are considered legal tender, even if they are no longer being minted.
This includes the 5 cent coin, which stopped being minted in 2012, as well as the 1 cent and 2 cent coins which stopped being minted in 2002.
Businesses are obliged to accept up to 50 cents per transaction that is made up of lower denomination coins (1c, 2c, 5c), up to R5 for larger coins (10c, 20c, 50c) and up to R50 per transaction for the biggest coins (R1, R2, and R5).
Commemorative and limited edition coins – like the planned Mandela centenary R5 coin and others like the Griqua Town R5 coin – are not worth more than their face value, the Reserve Bank said.
The only exception to this is the famous Krugerrand – where, despite having legal tender status, the coins aren’t minted with transactional currency in mind. For this reason, a Krugerrand bears no face value, with the actual value of the coin tied directly to the going gold price.
In 2017, the SA Mint for the first time produced Krugerrands in other metals – specifically platinum and sterling silver. However, because these coins are not gold (which is the only metal exempt from the regulations), they have to carry face values.
Despite being worth far more than their face values, a 1 oz fine-silver Proof Krugerrand has a denomination of R1, while the platinum Proof Krugerrand has a denomination of R10.