Madiba rands have ridges to help vision-impaired

2012-10-08 00:00

NEW bank notes that come into circulation in December will have upgrades, including those that allow the visually impaired to identify the money in hand.

Kenny Baloyi, an official of communications company TCF — which has been hired by the South African Reserve Bank to conduct a nationwide campaign informing the public about the new bank notes — said the new Nelson Mandela notes have a ridge on the side of the note that has been raised, “so when you touch it, you can feel how much you are holding. R10 has one [ridge] and R20 has two [ridges]”.

Speaking at a campaign event in Pietermaritzburg, Baloyi said the new feature will help the visually impaired identity the rand worth of the note they are holding.

The notes have also undergone changes to their look and feel. The notes have watermarks featuring Mandela’s image on the left side, and animals that will appear as a see-through feature.

All new banknotes will feature SARB governor Gill Marcus’s signature at the top rather than at the bottom. “When you touch the notes on Mandela’s face, you can feel his face as that has been raised” said Baloyi. There is also a “roving line” on the R100 and R200 notes. “When tilted, the lines roll up and down the money,” Baloyi said.

Notes currently in circulation will be slowly phased out.

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