Money and Markets

A new R500 note for SA is fake news, says the Reserve Bank, just like in 2009

Business Insider SA

  • It has no plans to issue a R10 coin or a R500 banknote, the SA Reserve Bank says.
  • The fake Twitter account – more than a year old – that claimed as much has since been removed.
  • Both designs looked plausible because they are. The R10 coin is from a collector's edition, and the R500 note was designed in 2008.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

There are no current plans to issue a R10 coin or a R500 note, the South African Reserve Bank says – even though the designs published online looked quite believable.

Last week the Twitter account @ReservebankSA published the R500 note design with the note that it was "the first sample of our possible new Five hundred Rand note", and identical wording for a separate post of the R10 coin.

That Twitter account had been created in April 2021, and used the same image and tagline as the real Reserve Bank account. The only immediately-obvious signs that it was not the real thing were its lack of followers (633 at last count, as opposed to more than 100,000 for the real thing), and the fact that it was not a verified Twitter account.

The account has since been removed by Twitter.

The striking R10 coin design dates from 2017, and was part of the South African Mint's second batch of coloured collectors coins. It was very much not for general circulation; the coin retailed at R895.

The professional-looking R500 design dates from 2008 – and featured in a fake claim, in 2009, that South Africa was about to adopt a R500 note.

At the time, three years after its launch, Twitter had a relatively small user base in South Africa, and that fake claim was circulated via email.

The Reserve Bank says it is constantly considering the need for adjustments to currency, and a R10 coin may make sense, but it does not consider money-users ready for one just yet. A R500 banknote, on the other hand, makes less sense, because R200 notes remain much less used than R100 notes, which suggests that R500 notes would not fulfil a need.


Get the best of our site emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Business Insider front page for more stories.

Rand - Dollar
15.80
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
19.41
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.69
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.94
+0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.3%
Gold
1,834.95
+0.4%
Silver
21.37
+1.1%
Palladium
1,894.28
+0.7%
Platinum
917.51
+0.7%
Brent Crude
113.12
+2.7%
Top 40
59,993
0.0%
All Share
66,349
0.0%
Resource 10
64,422
0.0%
Industrial 25
76,590
0.0%
Financial 15
15,623
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo