Five Rand (R5)

The Black Wildebeest or Gnu, is portrayed on the reverse of the R5 coin. They are found in the northern grassveld regions of the Cape Province, throughout the Orange Free State to KwaZulu-Natal and the southern regions of Gauteng. Wildebeest hides were at one stage an important commodity in Kwa-Zulu-Natal.Although South Africa’s first decimal coin series was released in 1961, no R5 coins were minted until 1994. In that year, two R5 coins were issued: the reverse of the first commemorated the Presidential Inauguration and that of the second depicted the Gnu (Black Wildebeest). Since 1996, South Africa’s 11 official languages have been acknowledged annually, in rotation, through the representation of the word.

Language rotation

2002 – isiNdebele/ Tshivenda
2003 – Tshivenda/ siSwati
2004 – siSwati/ Xitsonga
2005 – Xitsong/ English
2006 – English/ Setswana
2007 – Setswana/ Sepedi/Sesotho
2008 – Sepedi/Sesotho/ Afrikaans
2009 – Afrikaans/ isiXhosa
2010 – isiXhosa/ isiZulu
2011 – isiZulu/ isiNdebele
Note: The “old” R5 is still a legal tender coin