Reserve Bank (SARB) governor Gill Marcus on Wednesday launched a communication campaign to showcase the new series of South African banknotes featuring former President Nelson Mandela.
Marcus said that the R34-million awareness campaign was aimed at informing the public about the unique features of the new banknotes, which would be introduced before the end of the year.
The front of the new banknotes feature the image of Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically elected President, while the reverse side of each note would feature an image of one of the continent's big five animals.
The current and new banknotes would co-circulate and both were legal tender. Marcus could not give an exact date for when the new notes would be available.
She stated that, internationally, it was regarded as best practice for central banks to upgrade the security features of their banknotes every six to eight years to combat counterfeiting, which diminishes the value of real money.
Marcus explained that the new bank notes were equipped with security features, which could be identified using a look, feel and tilt approach. Features included watermarks, micro-printing and unique numbering, while enhanced features such as raised print on both sides would be introduced for the visually impaired.
The notes would be printed by SARB wholly owned subsidiary, the South African Bank Note Company; however, Marcus added that given the quantity of the notes that needed to be printed, the bank would print at a number of places.