The South African National Council for the Blind was fully consulted by the South African Reserve Bank in the process for creating the new Mandela Series bank notes to ensure that the notes were made to be accessible to visually impaired users. Council made suggestions to increase the ease of use for visually impaired persons and these suggestions were duly noted and the recommendations were considered as well. On 19 October 2012, a team from the Reserve Bank held a workshop with our National Executive Committee to ensure that all sectors of the visually impaired community will receive training and information regarding the new notes. We support the inclusivity of the Reserve Bank’s endeavours to ensuring that visually impaired users’ needs and challenges are taken into consideration when designing and implementing the new notes.
Representatives from the Reserve Bank came to the Council to train visually impaired persons on the new notes and to get comments from visually impaired users. The new notes are the same size and colouring (just brighter) than the old notes, so the money sticks which visually impaired persons may have will still work accurately.
There are raised printing features such as the denomination numeral, the main motif (image of Nelson Mandela), the words ‘South African Reserve Bank’, the coat of arms and the animal motif on the back.
For visually impaired users specifically, there are raised lines on the bottom left and right hand sides on the front of the new banknote. R10 have one stroke, R20 have two strokes, R50 have three strokes, R100 have four strokes and R200 have five strokes.
The new South African banknotes will officially go into circulation on Tuesday, 6 November 2012. The new banknotes feature an image of former President Nelson Mandela on the front, with images of the ‘big five’ animals on the back of the various banknote denominations.
Commenting on the announcement, Reserve Bank Governor, Gill Marcus said: “Our currency is a unique symbol of our nationhood, with many of us handling banknotes every day. The Reserve Bank is proud to be able to honour South Africa’s struggle icon and first democratically elected President in this way, and we thank all our stakeholders for their hard work in making this process possible.”
An education and public awareness campaign has preceded the circulation launch, with advertisements flighted on television, radio, newspapers and magazines, as well as online and on social media platforms.
South Africans have been given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the security features of the new banknotes - prior to the official circulation - through road shows and public outreach events nationwide. Common Monetary Areas (CMA) such as Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana and Zimbabwe are included in these awareness efforts.
The current and new banknotes will co-circulate and both remain legal tender.
Commercial banks and the retail industry are familiar with the state-of-the-art security features in order to ensure a seamless transition of the new banknote series.
For media monitoring purposes, inform the South African National Council for the Blind if you intend to use the information contained in this press release.
For more information contact:
South African National Council for the Blind
Tel: 012 452 3811
For more about the South African National Council for the Blind, refer to www.sancb.org.za.
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