South Africa’s Apex bank announces birthday plans for Nelson Mandela

In commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s 100th posthumous birthday celebration, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced it will be issuing new notes for all Rand denomination and the new R5 coin.

The celebratory notes will be released into circulation from July 18th, Mandela’s birthday.

The apex bank made the announcement on Sunday, the 28th anniversary of Mandela’s release from prison after spending 27 years in incarceration.


The last time South Africa changed its Bank notes was in 2012. That was also the first time a South African note would bear the image of a black person, featuring Mandela’s image on one side while the other side maintains the “big five” wild animals, already on the bills. Both the new and old notes will still be used as legal tenders.

“We unveiled the current Mandela series of banknotes in 2012 to honor him. While preserving the value of money is our main mandate, our purpose is to be a bastion of institutional strength, contributing to a stable and prosperous economy that serves the well-being of all South Africans, and guided in part by Madiba’s values,” said SARB governor Lesetja Kganyago.

Popularly known by his clan name “Madiba”, Mandela has lent his name to roads, buildings and universities, and a giant bronze statue of him in Sandton City mall, Johannesburg. He was one of the most prominent political leaders of South Africa who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and first elected in a fully representative democratic election. Madiba was a revered world icon for his fight against the racism and for South Africa’s democracy and social justice.