SARB launches upgraded banknotes and coins

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The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has introduced upgraded banknotes and coins into the South African market, which will be available from the 4th of May 2023.

The Reserve Bank says upgraded banknotes and coins have enhanced security features and new designs.

New look notes and coins:

The banknotes continue to pay tribute to former president, Nelson Mandela, with his portrait retained on the front, while the Big 5 animals are now illustrated as a family on the back.

The Reserve Bank launched the upgraded currency at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

The upgraded banknotes feature the preamble to the South African Constitution printed in microtext around Madiba’s portrait, while the country’s flag is featured on the front and the back of the banknotes.

The Reserve Bank says banknotes and coins are regularly upgraded in line with the international best practice to combat counterfeiting and to stay abreast with technological advancements.

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago says all previously issued banknotes and coins can still be used together with the upgraded currency.

“A public awareness campaign on the changes made to our currency is under way and will be in the market from the 4th of May and will be introduced into the market incrementally. Denominations of both banknotes and coins will be introduced incrementally as well. The changes to the banknotes and coins can also be seen on the SARB currency app which is free to download or the App Store or the play store and I urge you to do so.”

The theme of the coin series is ecology depicted by the country’s fauna and flora.

While large denomination numerals and colour enhancements have been incorporated on the notes to assist the partially sighted community.

Kganyago elaborates: “The upgraded notes and coin will have the same value as the current notes and coin in circulation and I want to encourage the public to transact with them. Both sets of currency will remain legal tender today into the future, so don’t think the old coins and think that their collectors and that you can sell them for more at the Reserve Bank. If there is something wrong with it or it’s damaged, we will replace it with a coin of exactly the same value, if you have a damaged note, we will replace it with a note of the same value.”

The Governor says it is standard practice for banknotes to be refreshed in intervals of 6 to 8 years and coins in intervals of 20 to 30 years.