• R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 banknotes, and R5 coins, will soon carry Nelson Mandela's face in honour of his 100th birthday. 
  • The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) released the designs ahead of its official release on July 18, after images leaked online. 
  • The notes will co-circulate for a limited time, together with the current Mandela banknote series and the existing R5 coin. 

South African banknotes and R5 coins will soon carry the face of late president Nelson Mandela in celebration of his 100th birthday. 

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) released the designs of the commemorative banknotes on Wednesday ahead of its official release, after the designs surfaced on social media. 

As part of the preparations for the launch, test packs of the commemorative banknotes were made available to members of the broader cash industry to allow them to make adequate preparations in relation to issues such as adaptions of cash processing and cash dispensing machines, ticketing machines and so forth," the bank said in a statement.

"While these test packs were governed by strict confidentiality provisions, it has come to the SARB’s attention that certain breaches have occurred, and as a result some of the designs have been circulating on social media."

See also: Two new R50 Mandela coins have just been launched, starting from R127

The designs were released to avoid confusion, it said.

The front of the R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 banknotes will feature an older Mandela, while the back of the notes will feature a younger Mandela dressed in traditional attire. 

The R5 coin will be released by the South African Mint, a subsidiary of the SARB, and will feature an older Mandela on the front with the South African government logo on its back. 

The notes will co-circulate for a limited time, together with the current Mandela banknote series and the existing R5 coin, and both sets will remain legal tender.

Additional detailed information about the commemorative features of the notes and additional security features will be made available at the time of the official launch.It is envisaged that these notes will be issued into circulation by 18 July 2018. 

Here are all the note designs as released by the SARB. 

The R10 note.


The R20 note.


The R50 note.



The R100 note.

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