South Africa’s new currency is set to become a pride of the nation with the introduction of upgraded Mandela banknotes and fourth decimal coin series. The South African Reserve Bank has designed the new banknotes and coins to reflect the country’s heritage, culture, and people, ensuring that they are both visually appealing and technologically advanced.


The new banknotes feature a portrait of Nelson Mandela, the country’s former president and renowned anti-apartheid leader, on the front. The back of the banknotes displays the “Big Five” animals – rhino (R10), elephant (R20), lion (R50), Cape buffalo (R100), and leopard (R200)- which are closely linked to the values of the South African Reserve Bank: accountability, respect and trust, excellence, open communication, and integrity.


In addition to the striking visuals, the banknotes have several features that improve their security and make them difficult to counterfeit.

The upgraded banknotes have a watermark on the left side that depicts a shadow image of the “Big Five” animal, unique to each denomination, when held up to the light. The denomination numerals, printed in positive and negative text, aid in identification by visually impaired and partially sighted persons. The see-through perfect print registration feature also appears on the front and back of the banknotes, which allows a complete featured animal to be seen when held up to the light.

The new banknotes also feature raised print on both the front and back, as well as a substrate that enhances the feel of the banknotes. The SPARK®Live Truspin, security thread, and latent image are tilt features on the banknotes that make them difficult to replicate.


The new coins feature a fourth decimal and are designed to co-circulate with the current currency. The coins have a unique design that highlights South Africa’s flora and fauna, natural resources, and heritage. The coins have a smooth rim on the obverse side and a serrated rim on the reverse side, making them easy to distinguish.

The upgraded Mandela banknotes and fourth decimal coin series represent a tradition founded on solid values while remaining open to multilateral and dynamic collaboration with other institutions and the public. South Africans are encouraged to transact with the banknotes and coins and check that their banknotes are genuine through the look, feel, and tilt features. The new currency will connect the old and the new, the young and the old, representing a nation that takes pride in its heritage and culture.

In conclusion, the new currency is an excellent representation of South Africa’s pride and aspirations. The upgraded Mandela banknotes and fourth decimal coin series not only serve as a medium of exchange but also reflect the country’s history and heritage. The new currency’s advanced security features make it difficult to counterfeit, giving South Africans confidence in their transactions. The new currency is an excellent step towards the future, and it is hoped that it will help boost the country’s economy.

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