The South African Reserve Bank has announced the issue of newly re-designed and revised coins and banknotes, with the fourth decimal coin series having become legal tender on the 1st January 2023 and some denominations being released this month. This coin series is based on the theme of ecology, with revised designs seen on previous coins and entirely new designs included. As with the previous coin series, the text “SOUTH AFRICA” is translated into all of South Africa’s additional ten official languages used on the fourth decimal coin series. On the one-rand coin, only one language is shown, while two languages are shown on two-rand coins, and three languages appear on the five-rand. Two languages are also included on fifty-cent, twenty-cent, and ten-cent coins. To ensure the use of all eleven languages are eventually included on all denominations, the coins will be minted over a ten-year period on a rotational system where the languages will be alternated annually. The coin series has incorporated a new pattern of rim designs from four to eight recessed indents on the inside edge to assist visually impaired persons to differentiate between the various denominations more easily.
Ten cents: The obverse side features the Cape honey bee, which is indigenous to Southern Africa. The bee plays a vital role in South Africa’s agriculture and agricultural economy by pollinating crops and producing honey.
Twenty cents: The design on the obverse features the bitter aloe, a tall and single-stemmed plant that can reach a height of up to ten feet (three metres). It has thick and fleshy leaves that are arranged in rosettes and adorned with reddish-brown spines on the margins, along with smaller spines on the upper and lower surfaces.
Fifty cents: Featured on the obverse is the Knysna turaco, which is commonly known in South Africa as a Knysna lourie. It is found in the green forests of southern and eastern South Africa and Swaziland.
One rand: The obverse side of the new rand coin features the king protea, the national flower of South Africa. It is a distinctive member of the protea family, known for its large flower head. The king protea is not only a symbol of South Africa’s natural beauty, but it is also used as an emblem by the country’s national sports teams, including cricket and netball. This denomination is the only coin to include the national flag on the reverse side instead of the standard South African national crest.
Two rand: The obverse side features the springbok, which is the national animal of South Africa and is predominantly found in southern and southwestern Africa. The word “springbok” is also the nickname of the national rugby team.
Five rand: The new obverse on this bi-metallic coin features a serene depiction of the southern right whale, a species which is considered endangered and can be found throughout the southern part of the southern hemisphere. During the winter months, these whales migrate to the warmer coastal waters of South Africa, with more than 100 of them known to be in the Hermanus area. A latent image shown below the primary design on the obverse changes from RAND to FIVE when tilted. The coin incorporates a reeded security edge with an inscribed groove consisting of raised micro-text displaying SARB R5 in a vertical direction. Micro-lettering shown as SOUTH AFRICAN RESERVE BANK is repeated around the inner circle adjacent to the rim on the obverse.
The South African Reserve Bank has introduced the new coins and upgraded banknotes into circulation from the 4th May at which time the various denominations will be available incrementally. For additional information on these new coins and banknotes, please visit the website of the South African Reserve Bank.
Coin images are very kindly supplied by the Media Department of the South African Reserve Bank.