New security feature for Mandela banknotes

7 November 2013

The South African Reserve Bank introduced a new security feature on the country’s Nelson Mandela banknotes on Wednesday to mark the first 12 months since the introduction of the new notes.

Banknotes with the new security feature – little dots on the front and back of all notes – will gradually be introduced, with all current Mandela banknotes and the older “Big 5” banknotes remaining legal tender and continuing to co-circulate.

“Enhancing features on banknotes is an ongoing process to maintain the highest level of quality and security,” Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said in a statement on Wednesday. “This is in line with international best practice.”

South Africa’s new banknotes, featuring an image of former president Nelson Mandela on the front and images of the country’s “Big Five” wild animals on the reverse, went into circulation on Tuesday, 6 November 2012.

The notes – in R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 denominations – came with upgraded, state-of-the-art security features, as well as enhanced features for the visually impaired, including raised print on both sides.

Speaking after the notes’ release last year, Marcus said South Africans should look out for these security features, including the raised print, and a change to the colour of the note when lifted and exposed to the light.

For the visually impaired, the notes feature a different raised “flash” for each denomination, starting with one flash on the R10 and up to five flashes on the R200 note.

“Members of the public are encouraged to continue to ‘look, feel and tilt’ the banknotes to check for a combination of security features,” the Bank said on Wednesday.

SAinfo reporter