The South African Mint was identified as one of the essential service providers that would continue operating during the national lockdown declared by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa in March. Wondering why that is? Here’s a bit of insight into what the Mint does and why we are essential in a time of national disaster…
In South Africa, coins are integral to the payments ecosystem, alongside banknotes, card and electronic payment methods. Coins remain a trusted and essential method of transaction in our economy, most commonly used for goods and services such as taxi fare, purchases at spaza shops and hawkers, parking and vending machines.
So when the President committed to ensuring the availability of bank notes and coins throughout the state of disaster and lockdown period, through the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), we as the South African Mint (a subsidiary of the SARB), continued to ensure the supply of circulation coins.
We have taken extensive safety measures to ensure the safety of our employees and visitors, while we continue to meet the country’s the supply of circulation coins.
The South African Mint is a subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), established in accordance with the SARB Act 90 of 1989, as amended. We are responsible for producing legal tender coins alongside the South African Banknote, the other currency-producing subsidiary of the SARB responsible for bank notes. The Mint has been in existence for over 125 years, but became incorporated as a subsidiary of the SARB in 1988.
Our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is located in Centurion, Gauteng Province in South Africa.
Coins are an essential payment method that will be required for years to come. The demand for cash as a form of payment remains high, despite the advances that have been made in card and electronic payments. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout our country and the world and we adjust to a new way of life, it is worth noting that both coins and banknotes are safe to use as there is no scientific evidence indicating that they carry the virus or a greater risk of virus transmission.
The risk of transmission of Covid-19 can come from a variety of surfaces as the virus spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. As there is no cure or vaccine, personal hygiene remains the best defence against the coronavirus. As has been communicated by the Department of Health:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser;
- Avoid touching your face after touching any frequently-touched surface or object, which can include coins;
- Wear a mask at all times when in public; and
- Keep a safe physical distance in public spaces, to minimise the risk of transmitting and/or contracting the virus.
The South African Mint celebrates Africa’s unique natural heritage by embodying the strength and beauty of the infamous Big Five in our new coin series. Allow your kids to join in the adventure as they too discover the Big 5 with their mighty crayons!