South Africa: Reserve Bank Celebrates 100 Years Since First Banknote

The South African Reserve Bank on Tuesday celebrated 100 years since issuing its first banknotes.

The banknotes were issued 10 months after the SARB was established on 30 June 1921, the Bank said in a statement.

"Prior to that, South Africa had no monetary authority. However, the commercial banks were responsible for issuing banknotes into circulation.

"From 19 April 1922, the SARB was granted the sole authority to produce, issue and destroy South African currency, and is entrusted with ensuring the availability and integrity of the South African currency," the SARB said.

It said it has invested significantly in the currency's design and security features to protect the public from counterfeiting, noting that its banknotes are highly regarded globally.

The security features embedded in South Africa's currency represent the most innovative advancements in global design and technology.

"For South Africa, its currency is a symbol of national pride and reflects the country's cultural heritage, economic industries and the big five animals," said the bank.

In 1961, the rand replaced the South African pound.

"The rand takes its name from the Witwatersrand (white waters' ridge), the ridge where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found in Johannesburg," said the bank.

From time to time, the SARB issues banknotes and coins to commemorate key events or milestones in the country. In 2018, the SARB was the first central bank to issue commemorative banknotes in all five denominations. These commemorative banknotes and coins are placed into circulation for everyday use and maintain their face value.

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