Over the past five years, the number of counterfeit South African banknotes has continued to decline, says South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago.
Addressing the launch of the Nelson Mandela commemorative banknotes and R5 circulation coin on Friday, Kganyago said South African banknotes and coins are among the most secure internationally.
“The security features embedded in our banknotes and coins represent the most innovative advances in global design and technology,” he said.
The commemorative banknotes and the R5 circulation coin have come into circulation from 13 July, just five days ahead of the national commemoration of Madiba’s 100th year.
The Reserve Bank did not incur additional costs when producing the commemorative banknotes.
“We simply printed the same number of notes that we would have printed in a year and we dedicated over four million of those notes to the centenary,” Kganyago said.
The Reserve Bank also launched a mobile application as a platform to create greater public awareness of the security, technical and design features of the country’s banknotes.
“The app features interesting details on the life and times of Tata Madiba aligned to the commemorative banknotes,” Kganyago said.
He said the banknotes highlight President Mandela’s historical journey from the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape to Soweto, to Howick, to Robben Island as well as to the Union Buildings.
The commemorative R5 circulation coin features a portrait of Madiba smiling at the nation he helped to build.
“Tata represents the best version of ourselves as South Africans, and there is no more appropriate an occasion than his birthday centenary to honour all that he represents with these commemorative banknotes and R5 circulation coin,” Kganyago said.
SA must optimise opportunities created by Madiba, says Nene
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said Mandela had stamina and resistance, two characteristics that define successful leaders.
“Today, we honour the man who during his darkest moments in our history gambled his political capital on initiating talks with the apartheid government. In doing so, he showed mastery of… balancing pragmatism and principle,” Nene said.
He said Mandela’s intervention from his prison cell in the late 1980s disturbed the equilibrium of the day, leading some activists to accuse him of selling out.
“The narrative that Mandela and his comrades gave in too easily during the negotiations persist to this day. It is us who have failed to use effectively the breathing space that Mandela’s interventions created. We cannot blame him for our own failure to build a sense of nationhood and unity,” Nene said.
Mandela’s granddaughter, Ndileka Mandela, encouraged South Africans to draw inspiration from Mandela’s values such as his love, compassion and respect for others.
“Ethics and good morals have always been at the core of all great leaders. What is our state of ethics and morals as a society and a nation?
“It is well known that good governance attracts money and investment… Leadership that fosters trust and confidence. Courage and a sense of devotion and commitment to a cause that improves the lives of the people as well as the communities that leaders serve,” Ndileka said. – SAnews.gov.za