The third award, for the Best New Commemorative Banknote, was made to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) for the commemorative series commissioned to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. This is the first time a complete series of commemorative notes have been issued.
The new notes (in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200) were launched last July at a special ceremony at the historic Freedom Park in Pretoria, and were issued on 18 July (Mandela’s birthday).
The front of the commemorative notes is the same as the existing series, with Nelson Mandela’s portrait and watermark, colour shifting thread and a large denomination numeral in either OVI or SPARK depending on the denomination.
On the reverse, however, the images of the iconic Big 5 animals have been replaced with different scenes and accompanying themes on telling the story of Mandela’s life from young boy to president, marking key passages and historic milestones.
The R10, for example features the village where he was born (Birth), and the R20 the home in Soweto where he began both his career and his campaign against apartheid (Life). The background to the R50 is the place where he was taken prisoner (Capture), and the R100 Robben Island, where he was incarcerated for 18 of the 27 years he spent in captivity (Struggle). The highest denomination R200 depicts the Union Building where he was inaugurated as President in 1994 (Destiny).
The notes were designed by De La Rue and printed by the South African Banknote Company. Deon van Zyl of the latter collected the award on behalf of the SARB.