New bank notes are to be issued later in the year, bearing Nelson Mandela’s face on the front of the note with the big 5 still being featured on the back of the notes. The notes will have improved security traits as well as features for the blind and partially-sighted.

President Jacob Zuma stated that “It is a befitting tribute to a man who became a symbol of his country’s struggle for freedom, human rights and democracy. With this humble gesture, we express gratitude for a life spent in service.”

It does seem to be odd timing, although it is the 22nd anniversary of Mandela’s release from prison, why wasn’t it done on the 21st anniversary? It is a further pity that this wasn’t done when Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, it would have been more fitting then. Nelson Mandela is a well loved hero to everyone around the world and not just in South Africa, he deserves this smallest of gestures and more for the sacrifices he made for the freedom of the people of South Africa.

Hopefully this does not become a regular change with each new president, as it will then scar the message that the government has just put out regarding the reason for the change.

We look forward to the new notes and will obviously save some to remind us of this most extreme sacrifice.