South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has unveiled new-look banknotes and coins that are in line with “international best practice to combat counterfeiting and to stay abreast with technological advancements.”

The SARB said the new banknotes and coins, which started circulating on Thursday, have enhanced security features and new designs.

“Banknotes and coins are regularly upgraded in line with international best practice to combat counterfeiting and to stay abreast with technological advancements,” the central bank said.

It said the new R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 banknotes continue to pay tribute to South Africa’s first democratically elected president Nelson Mandela, with his portrait retained on the front of the banknotes, while the Big Five animals – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo – are now illustrated as a family on the back.

The theme of the coin series is deep ecology, which acknowledges the interconnectedness of living organisms as an integral part of South Africa’s environment.

“These themes are depicted by our fauna and flora on the coin,” the bank said.

The coins now depict a Cape honeybee on the 10c, an aloe plant on the 20c, a Knysna loerie on the 50c, a King Protea on the R1, two Springboks on the R2 and Galjoen fish and Southern Right Wales on the R5.

Noting that it did not demonetise its currency, the bank revealed that all existing banknotes and coins would continue to be used as a means of trade.

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