De La Rue designs Mandela centenary notes

Jo Francis
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

South Africa’s Reserve Bank (SARB) has issued its first-ever set of commemorative banknotes to mark the birth centenary of Nelson Mandela.

The design work for the new notes, issued today (18 July) was carried out by De La Rue’s specialist design team. The notes depict the life of South Africa’s first democratically elected president, who died in 2013 aged 95.

The design themes are Mvezo (Birth), Soweto (Life), Howick (Capture), Robben Island (Struggle) and Union Buildings (Destiny).

The notes were printed by South African Bank Note, a subsidiary of SARB. The notes are paper, although the 10 and 20 rand notes are printed on Louisenthal’s Hybrid banknote substrate which combines a polyester protective film over a cotton paper core for durability. 

De La Rue’s creative design director Julian Payne said it was an honour to be involved in the prestigious project, which took 18 months to complete.

“Inspired by the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela we wanted to follow his journey through the five denominations. The designs tell a story of hope and reconciliation triumphing over division and persecution; the prisoner becoming president is a truly inspirational story,” Payne said.

“The images also celebrate the birth of a unified and democratic nation which is the ultimate legacy of Nelson Mandela and his contemporaries and a remarkable achievement.”

The commemorative notes will be in circulation until the end of the year. A commemorative five rand coin has also been issued.

SARB is running a public awareness campaign under the banner #TheMadibaInMe to support the launch of the banknotes and coin.

“It acknowledges that Mandela’s values live within all South Africans and encourages people to pass on the values of service and respect during the moment of money exchange,” the bank said.


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