A look at South Africa’s new R5 coin launching this week

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will launch a commemorative circulation R5 coin in honour of its centenary on Wednesday (30 June).

The coin, which depicts the design of previously issued coins, will circulate alongside the existing coins, and its value will remain the same as the existing R5.

The existing R5 coin in circulation will also remain legal tender and will continue to be issued.

The central bank says that it will also launch a refreshed currency mobile app to create greater public awareness of South African banknotes and coin, as well as the role of the SARB.

Some of the previously issued coins that appear in the new R5 include:

  • The 1923 three pence (tickey) represents the currency issued during the period of the Union of South Africa.
  • A 1961 R1 gold coin features the springbok, South Africa’s national animal.
  • The 1965 20c coin depicts the king protea, South Africa’s national flower
  • The 1990 1c coin features two sparrows and represents the third decimal coin series.
  • The R5 coin minted in 2008, in honour of former President Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday, recognises his vast contribution to South Africa.
  • A 10c coin from the fourth decimal series depicts the Cape honey bee and represents the future of the currency and the SARB.

The Currency and Banking Act of 1920 provided for the establishment of a central bank in South Africa, with its main functions being the issuing of banknotes and taking over the gold held by commercial banks.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) opened its doors on 30 June 1921 and is the oldest central bank in Africa.

In May 1961 the Republic of South Africa was established, the same year South Africa exited the Commonwealth and changed its currency from pounds, shillings and pence to a decimal system of 100 cents in one rand.

The currency has since gone through significant technological and design changes, which are captured in the new R5 coin, the SARB said.


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A look at South Africa’s new R5 coin launching this week