SEE: The 'Taxi R2' going into circulation

2019-07-24 19:07
The taxi R2. (Supplied)

The taxi R2. (Supplied)

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The inimitable South African minibus taxi has made its way on to a set of commemorative R2 coins, not to pull over for a passenger, but as a decorative detail on a special series of commemorative coins released into circulation. 

Themed "Freedom of Movement and Residence", the SA Reserve Bank's subsidiary, the SA Mint, released the coins to commemorate 25 years of South Africa's constitutional democracy. 

The series features five commemorative R2 circulation coins, a commemorative R5 coin and three collectable coins in gold, silver and bronze alloy. 

In a statement, the Reserve Bank explained the theme of the right to freedom of movement and residence was a reminder of the heavy restrictions on movement and residence as the apartheid government enforced its policies to separate people who were categorised along racial lines. 

Designed by graffiti and tattoo artist Rasty Knayles, the right to freedom of movement is symbolised by a plane, a bird holding a key, and a minibus taxi on the reverse (tails) of the coin.

Heads (the obverse) features the national coat of arms, the date of issue, "2019", and the words "South Africa" written in English, and "Afrika-Dzonga" in Xitsonga.

All these SA25 commemorative coins issued by the Reserve Bank and the SA Mint, including the collectable range, use a common typeface created by Garth Walker for the Constitutional Court's signage. 

SA Mint managing director Tumi Tsehlo said: "In issuing circulation coins in honour of our constitutional democracy, the South African Mint is helping to preserve the memory of all South Africans who collectively fought for freedom for all, even at great personal cost."  

Tsehlo added the theme served to remind all South Africans that "we have come a long way". 

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An explanation of the art on the coin states that Knayles likens freedom to a bird, a complete embodiment of being free to move around and reside anywhere in the country. 

The weaver bird is a reflection of an average South African; hardworking, cheerful and respectful to fellow beings. The key symbolises a passport, a prized document that guarantees any person holding it, free and through access across borders and return home, and above all, serve as an infallible South African identity. 

The minibus taxi used by millions of South Africans and the passenger plane highlight economic activity as well as movement. 

The commemorative coins will be phased in, with the coin themed "Freedom of Movement and Residence" being the fourth in the series.

A collector's folder is available free for collection at the SA Mint's retail store and other outlets named on its website. 

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago announced the SA25 range of commemorative circulation coins last month. 

While in circulation, the coins are worth only their normal face value.

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