In partnership with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the South African Mint on Wednesday launched a series of six new commemorative circulation coins as part of its ‘SA25 – Celebrating South Africa’ coin series.
The new circulation coins, which were unveiled by SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago, together with a range of collectable coins launched in May, commemorate South Africa’s 25 years of democracy.
The coins will enter circulation in a phased manner in the next few months, with the R5 coin to make its debut in August.
The series includes five new R2 circulation coins, depicting five different rights in the Bill of Rights, as well as a new R5 circulation coin featuring the design of a ballot box and a long queue reminiscent of South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994.
The coins mark the first time that members of the public participated in developing the themes for the coins. Those born in a democratic South Africa were invited to provide their views on democracy, freedom and culture.
Their perspectives, many of which are aligned to the rights enshrined in the Constitution, influenced the design concepts, which were considered by a panel of experts in finalising the designs.
The six new commemorative circulation coins are:
- R2 ‘Children’s Rights’, designed by Neo Mahlangu
- R2 ‘Right to Education’, also designed by Mahlangu
- R2 ‘Environmental Rights’, designed by Maaike Bakker
- R2 ‘Right to Movement and Residence’, designed by Rasty Knayles
- R2 ‘Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion’, designed by Peter Mammes
- R5 ‘Let us Live and Strive for Freedom’, designed by Lady Skollie
At the launch event, South African Mint MD Tumi Tsehlo said the themes depicted on the new SA25 coins, especially the five R2 coins and the single R5 circulation coin, underpin South Africa’s Constitution and are the prominent rights identified by those born in a democratic South Africa.
The rest of the series includes a R50 bronze alloy coin depicting two interlocking hands, symbolising togetherness, joined in the shape of a cross similar to the mark made on a ballot during the voting process; and a R50 sterling silver coin depicting the image of long voting queues associated with the first democratic election.
Additionally, the series will include a R500 gold coin depicting the Constitutional Court of South Africa, which was designed by Shaun Gaylard.
“I believe we have an excellent set of coins befitting this momentous occasion in our lives, which will also serve to remind us of our rights and responsibilities toward our constitutional democracy,” Tsehlo concluded.