ZAR – South African Rand

Monetary System

1921: 1 South African pound = 20 shillings
14.02.1961: 1 South African rand (ZAR) = 100 cents

South African Reserve Bank

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) opened for business on 30 June 1921, and issued its first banknotes on 19 April 1922. Liability for the notes of other South African banking institutions was assumed by SARB in June 1924.
Initially the banknotes issued by the SARB were printed in the United Kingdom. In 1958, it was decided that notes would be printed domestically, so Bradbury, Wilkinson & Company (BWC) and the SARB established the South African Bank Note Company (SABN) as a joint venture. Domestic production of banknotes commenced in 1961 when South Africa adopted a decimal currency. Eventually the bank took over BWC’s shares in SABN, and it began printing notes for neighboring countries.
For more information, visit www.resbank.co.za.

2018 Commemorative Issues

On 18 July 2018, the South African Reserve Bank introduced new banknotes to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, known as Madiba. These commemorative notes are like the preceding issues, but with vertical Mandela Centenary 1918-2018 at right front/back, denomination numerals in new OVI or SPARK at lower right front, and various scenes with young Madiba on back. The commemorative notes circulate in parallel with the preceding issues.
In April 2019, this series won the “Best New Commemorative Banknote” award at the High Security Printing EMEA Conference in Malta.

Description: 10.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 128 x 70 mm

Green. Front: English text; coat of arms; rhinoceros as registration device; rhinoceros; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in Afrikaans, English, and Swazi; young Madiba wearing traditional attire; sheep grazing in field with houses in Mvezo, birthplace of Mandela. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 10 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 10. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 128 x 70 mm. Paper. Hybrid.

Description: 20.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 134 x 70 mm

Brown and violet. Front: English text; coat of arms; elephant as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Southern Ndebele, and Tswana; young Madiba wearing traditional attire; Mandela House in Soweto. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 20 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 20. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 134 x 70 mm. Paper. Hybrid.

Description: 50.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 140 x 70 mm

Maroon, olive green, and brown. Front: English text; coat of arms; lion as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Venda, and Xhosa; young Madiba wearing traditional attire; Nelson Mandela Capture Site sculpture and field in Howick. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 50 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 50. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 140 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 146 x 70 mm

Blue, violet, and orange. Front: English text; coat of arms; Cape buffalo as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Northern Sotho, and Tsonga; young Madiba wearing traditional attire; stone pile on Robben Island. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 100 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 100. Printer: (SABN and Tumba Bruk). 146 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 200.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 152 x 70 mm

Orange, brown, and green. Front: English text; coat of arms; leopard as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Sotho, and Zulu; young Madiba wearing traditional attire; statue of Nelson Mandela at Union Buildings in Pretoria. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 200 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 200. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 152 x 70 mm. Paper.

2013 – 2015 Issues

These notes are like the preceding issues, but with Omron rings added to the fronts and backs near the watermark areas.

Description: 10.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 128 x 70 mm

Green. Front: English text; coat of arms; rhinoceros as registration device; rhinoceros; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Afrikaans, and Swazi; rhinoceros. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 10 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 10. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 128 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 20.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 134 x 70 mm

Brown and violet. Front: English text; coat of arms; elephant as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Tswana, and Southern Ndebele; elephants. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 20 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 20. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 134 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 50.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 140 ax 70 mm

Maroon, olive green, and brown. Front: English text; coat of arms; lion as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Xhosa, and Venda; lions. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 50 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 50. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 140 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 146 x 70 mm

Blue, violet, and orange. Front: English text; coat of arms; Cape buffalo as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Northern Sotho, and Tsonga; Cape buffalo. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 100 RAND.Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 100. Printer: (SABN and Tumba Bruk). 146 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 200.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 152 x 70 mm

Orange, brown, and green. Front: English text; coat of arms; leopard as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Zulu, and Sotho; leopards. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 200 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 200. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 152 x 70 mm. Paper.

2012 Issues

Description: 10.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 128 x 70 mm

Green. Front: English text; coat of arms; rhinoceros as registration device; rhinoceros; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Afrikaans, and Swazi; rhinoceros. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 10 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 10. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 128 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 20.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 134 x 70 mm

Brown and violet. Front: English text; coat of arms; elephant as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Tswana, and Southern Ndebele; elephants. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 20 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 20. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 134 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 50.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 140 x 70 mm

Maroon, olive green, and brown. Front: English text; coat of arms; lion as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Xhosa, and Venda; lions. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 50 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 50. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 140 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 100.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 146 x 70 mm

Blue, violet, and orange. Front: English text; coat of arms; Cape buffalo as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Northern Sotho, and Tsonga; Cape buffalo. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 100 RAND.Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 100. Printer: (SABN and Tumba Bruk). 146 x 70 mm. Paper.

Description: 200.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 152 x 70 mm

Orange, brown, and green. Front: English text; coat of arms; leopard as registration device; Nelson Mandela. Back: Text in English, Zulu, and Sotho; leopards. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 200 RAND. Watermark: Nelson Mandela and electrotype 200. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 152 x 70 mm. Paper.

2005 – 2009 Issues

Description: 200.00 ZAR – South African Rand Size: 152 x 70 mm

Orange, brown, and green. Front: English text; coat of arms; 200 as registration device; leopard lying on tree; leopard head. Back: Text in English, Zulu, and Sotho; transport and communication: satellite dish; ship’s propeller; wheels for bicycle, tractor, and train; bridge; background of sound wave. Holographic windowed security thread with coat of arms, SARB, and 200 RAND. Watermark: Leopard and electrotype 200. Printer: (South African Bank Note Company). 152 x 70 mm. Paper.

Extras

• According to an article in BusinessReport dated 5 December 2010, the South Africa Reserve Bank discovered in May that it had issued 100-rand banknotes which are defective because they lack fluorescent printing visible under UV light. In June 2010, printing of this denomination was shifted from the South African Bank Note Company to Crane Currency’s Swedish division (Tumba Bruk), which reportedly produced 80 million 100-rand notes. The defective notes are said to bear the signature of former governor Tito Mboweni’ as well as the current governor, Gill Marcus. These notes were originally issued in 2005 and 2009, respectively, so the problem apparently went undetected for quite some time.
• According to an article in Times Live dated 9 July 2011, “no other notes have been printed since February after the Reserve Bank returned more than R400-million in faulty R10 and R20 notes.”
• According to an article on News24.com dated 20 May 2012, the South Africa Reserve Bank shredded more than 3.6 million 100-rand notes printed by Crane Currency’s Swedish division (Tumba Bruk) because they have the same serial numbers as a batch printed by the South African Bank Note Company. In addition, the notes printed in Sweden aren’t the right color, and they are one millimeter short.