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New Banknote Official Circulation Date Announced

by South African Reserve Bank | Oct 30, 2012

The new South African Banknotes will officially go into circulation on Tuesday, 6 November 2012.  The new banknotes feature an image of former President Nelson Mandela on the front, with images of the "Big Five" animals on the back of the various banknote denominations. 

Commenting on the announcement, Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said: "Our currency is a unique symbol of our nationhood, with many of us handling banknotes every day. The Reserve Bank is proud to be able to honour South Africa's struggle icon and first democratically elected President in this way, and we thank all our stakeholders for their hard work in making this process possible."

An education and public awareness campaign has preceded the circulation launch, with advertisements flighted on television, radio, newspapers and magazines, as well as online and on social media platforms.

South Africans have been given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the security features of the new banknotes - prior to the official circulation - through road shows and public outreach events nationwide. Common Monetary Areas (CMA) such as Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe are included in these awareness efforts.

The current and new banknotes will co-circulate and both remain legal tender.

Commercial banks and the retail industry are familiar with the state-of-the-art security features in order to ensure a seamless transition of the new banknote series.

Members of the public are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the security features of the new banknotes in order to be able to identify their authenticity by utilising the look, feel and tilt method. This has been emphasised in the second phase of the communication campaign, which commenced on 29 October.