New bank notes to honour Nelson Mandela’s centenary

 ·11 Feb 2018

As the commemoration to mark the 28th anniversary of the release from prison of former president Nelson Mandela continued on Sunday, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced that it will issue a set of commemorative bank notes to honour the former statesman’s centenary.

Mandela would have turned 100 years this year. Events have been planned to celebrate his centenary.

“The South African Reserve Bank will this year launch a set of commemorative South African banknotes in honour of what would have been Nelson Mandela’s centenary. These notes will cover all denominations – R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200” the bank said on Sunday.

In addition, the South African Mint, a subsidiary of the SARB, will issue a new R5 circulation coin celebrating Mandela’s birth centenary.

“The existing Mandela series of banknotes as well as the existing R5 coin in circulation will remain legal tender and will continue to be issued. This means that the new commemorative banknotes and coin will circulate alongside the existing banknotes and coin,” said the central bank.

The SARB expects the commemorative banknotes and coins to be introduced into circulation from 18 July, what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday.

Further details on the commemorative notes and coins will be communicated to the public closer to the time.

The central bank’s announcement comes as South Africa and the world today mark 28 years since the global icon was released from the Victor Verster prison on 11 February 1990.

The current banknotes that are in circulation that bear the face of the former statesman were unveiled in his honour in 2012.

“Nelson Mandela represented the best version of ourselves as South Africans. While preserving the value of money is our main mandate, our purpose is to be a bastion of institutional strength, contributing to a stable and prosperous economy that serves the well-being of all South Africans, and guided in part by Madiba’s values,” said Governor Lesetja Kganyago.

Meanwhile, the Nelson Mandela Foundation said South Africa’s first democratically elected President spent his life being in service to others.

“Mandela’s first speech in almost three decades signalled the path of servant leadership, peace and reconciliation he was to make the hallmark of the remaining years of his life” the Foundation said.

“As on the day he was taken into custody, Nelson Mandela’s release on 11 February 1990 was also on a Sunday and again on a country road. When he walked into freedom at 4:22 pm there was nothing lonely or quiet about that moment. Hundreds of cheering people witnessed the occasion and scores more lined his route into Cape Town. South Africa would never be the same again.”

“While we commemorate 2018 as the centenary of the birth of this great South African on 18 July 1918, he has left us with rich layers of milestones in his remarkable life,” said the foundation.

Read: A look at the new Mandela R5 coin

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