R200 notes still legal tender – SARB

2010-05-26 14:07

Businesses have to accept R200 notes from shoppers because they are

still legal tender, according to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

“All businesses should accept these. They are not allowed to turn

away people. People have the right to exchange and trade,” SARB’s head of

currency and protection services, Abubaker Ismail, said at the launch of a

public information campaign on the upgraded notes.

The old notes have been recalled and can be exchanged for the new

upgraded version at commercial banks countrywide until May 31. After this date,

they can only be exchanged at SARB offices and branches.

Banks are only issuing the new notes and not the old ones.

The new R200 note features, among other things, the coat of arms in

the front left corner, windowed security threads and a colour-changing ink. It

also has five diamond shapes with a raised feel to assist the blind.

SARB head of strategy Hlengani Mathebula said it was important for

the public to know the features on their banknotes.

He emphasised that although counterfeiting existed, this was not

the reason for the new banknotes.

“This was not triggered by counterfeiting of notes. This is not our

preoccupation. Our concern is to ensure that South Africa is safe. Every country

goes through a process of upgrading to eliminate risk,” he said.

Mathebula said there was no deadline for exchanging the old notes

at SARB. However, he urged people to use the opportunity to exchange notes at

their nearest banks.

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