Nelson Mandela Foundation

On the 3rd of May, the South African Reserve Bank, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, launched the 2023 upgraded banknotes and coins. This is pursuant to the Reserve Bank’s mandate to protect the value of our currency in a balanced and sustainable economy.

Master of Ceremonies, Azania Mosaka welcomed distinguished guests to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, including the South African Reserve Bank Governor, Mr Lesetja Kganyago; Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr David Masondo; members of the Board of Trustees of the Reserve Bank as well as of the Nelson Mandela Foundation; CEOs of South Africa’s leading banking institutions, and members of the media.

In 2012, South African banknotes and coins were upgraded with Nelson Mandela’s visage. In 2018, this was upgraded to celebrate the centenary celebrations, commemorating 100 years since Nelson Mandela was born.

The R5 coin hosted his portrait, the R10 note hosted Madiba’s birthplace in Mvezo, the R20 had his home in Soweto, the R50 note had his capture site in Howick, the R100 note his cell on Robben Island, and the R200 note had an image of Union Buildings where Madiba was inaugurated as the first Black president of South Africa.

Governor Kganyago spoke to the need to continuously upgrade our banknotes and coins to combat counterfeiting. With each upgrade, South Africa’s currency becomes more and more reliable and secure with the most advanced security features and artworks that tell the story of our history and our heritage.

This most recent upgrade improves the security of our banknotes and coins and is focused on the 10th Anniversary of the Passing of Nelson Mandela and the importance of our ecology.

The notes host the big five with their young to emphasise the importance of family. The 10c coin was reintroduced and hosts a honeybee, the aloe vera plant on the 20c, the Turaco bird on the 50c, the Protea and national flag on the R1, a Springbok on the R2 and whale on the R5. The afternoon was closed by a poetry recital by the author of Mpumi’s Magic Beads, Lebohang Masango, who gave a moving tribute to heritage, culture and economy.