De La Rue supports SARB in celebrating Nelson Mandela’s Centenary with special commemorative note series

To mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth today, a new series of commemorative banknotes featuring De La Rue design, has gone into circulation in South Africa.

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) commissioned the new commemorative series to celebrate the centenary and to honour the iconic leader.

This is the first time that the SARB has issued a commemorative banknote and De La Rue was delighted to be asked to create the designs, particularly having produced the ballot papers for South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994.

Each denomination features a different scene and accompanying theme on its reverse, telling the story of Mandela’s life from a young boy to President. They are Mvezo (“Birth”), Soweto (“Life”), Howick (“Capture”), Robben Island (“Struggle”) and Union Buildings (“Destiny”).

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Julian Payne, Creative Design Director at De La Rue, said:

“It was such an honour to create the artwork for this commemorative note celebrating such a respected global icon.

“Inspired by the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela we wanted to follow his journey through the five denominations. The designs tell a story of hope and reconciliation triumphing over division and persecution; the prisoner becoming president is a truly inspirational story.

“The images also celebrate the birth of a unified and democratic nation which is the ultimate legacy of Nelson Mandela and his contemporaries and a remarkable achievement.”

Pradeep Maharaj, Executive at South African Reserve Bank said:

 “Nelson Mandela is a unifying figure, with whom all South Africans can identify, and the telling of his life through the banknotes will resonate throughout the country.  We are proud to honour him in this way and would like to thank those involved in the project and for their part in supporting our centenary celebrations.”

The commemorative notes will co-circulate with the current Mandela series banknotes until they no longer meet the circulation quality standards of the SARB. Once the SARB has issued all the banknotes of the Commemorative banknote production order, the SARB will return to issuing the current series Mandela banknotes.

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For further information, please contact:

Robin Mackenzie- Marketing Director, De La Rue

e. m. +44 (0)7469 378608

About De La Rue:

De La Rue’s purpose is to enable every citizen to participate securely in the global economy. As a trusted partner of governments, central banks and commercial organisations, De La Rue provides products and services that underpin the integrity of trade, personal identity and the movement of goods. As the world’s largest designer and commercial printer of banknotes, De La Rue designs, manufactures and delivers banknotes, banknote substrates and security features to customers in a world where currency will continue to be a key part of the developing payments eco-system.

De La Rue is the only fully integrated supplier of both paper and polymer banknotes, and creates security features that ensure banknotes are protected against counterfeiting. De La Rue is the world’s largest commercial printer of passports, delivering national and international identity tokens and software solutions for governments in a world that is increasingly focused on the importance of a legal and secure identity for every individual. De La Rue also creates and delivers secure product identifiers and ‘track and trace’ software for governments and commercial customers alike to help to tackle the challenge of illicit or counterfeit goods and the collection of revenue and excise duties.

De La Rue is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON-DLAR). For further information visit

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