South African R5 circulation coin gets a new face

Centurion, South Africa – 26 August 2019: The South African Mint, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), today released a new R5 coin themed ‘Let us live and strive for freedom’, the last coin in the range of SA25 commemorative circulation coins. The SARB issued five new R2 coins over the past three months to mark South Africa’s 25 years of constitutional democracy.

The SA25 themed ‘Celebrating South Africa’ series also included three collectable coins in gold, silver and bronze alloy.

Designed by Johannesburg-based Lady Skollie, the coin’s imagery is a complementary interpretation of the famous images of South Africa’s polling stations in 1994 with their snake-like qualities of running into coils of people which continues to capture the world’s imagination.

On its reverse (tails), the coin features people standing in a queue waiting to cast their vote inspired by the country’s first democratic elections with words ‘Let us live and strive for freedom’. The line originates from the fourth stanza of the South African national anthem.

The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written as ‘Afrika Borwa’ (Sepedi or Sesotho) and ‘Aforika Borwa’ (Setswana).

All the SA25 commemorative circulations coins issued by the SARB and the South African Mint, including the collectable range, use a common typeface created by Garth Walker for the Constitutional Court. The typography, as reflected on the commemorative coinage, was created in 2003/04 as a unique wayfinding system font for the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Garth Walker is credited for the layout of the R5 coins using the typeface.

Tumi Tsehlo, South African Mint Managing Director says, “The coins are a wonderful way to remind ourselves of the guiding role the constitution has played in shaping the country. The very nature of the SA25 range provides an opportunity for all South Africans to become informed about the constitution and appreciate its progressiveness.”

South Africans should be able to find these coins in their change from retail stores and banks. More information on the full SA25 commemorative range and where it can be found is available on or any of the following social media channels:

Twitter: @SAMint
Facebook: @SouthAfricanMint
Instagram: @southafricanmint

The special collector’s folder that was created for coin enthusiasts can still be collected, at no cost, from any of the South African Mint’s retail outlets listed on the SA25 website.

The SARB Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, announced the SA25 range of commemorative circulation coins in June as part of the celebrations to mark 25 years of SA’s constitutional democracy, together with a series of collectible coins. The SARB would like to reiterate that the new commemorative circulation coins, like all other circulation coins, are ‘normal’ circulation coins that are only worth their face value – R5. The SARB issues commemorative circulation coins as part of its currency production function.

The South African Mint regularly creates commemorative coins to mark important milestones, having done so earlier this year with three collectable coins, a R500 gold coin, a R50 sterling silver coin and a R50 bronze alloy coin as part of its SA25 ‘Celebrating South Africa’ series. The all-pervasive theme for 2019 was the 25-year anniversary of the constitutional and democratic South Africa.

The South African Mint also launched special edition collector’s sets which include all the circulations coins, the R50 silver and the R50 bronze alloy collectable coins. The sets and collectable coins can also be purchased from the South African Mint’s retail store in Centurion as well as the various other outlets listed on the SA25 website.


About Artist Lady Skollie: Born in Cape Town in 1987, Ms Skollie currently lives and works in Johannesburg. She uses ink, watercolour and crayon to defy taboos and talk openly about issues of sex, pleasure, consent, human connection, violence and abuse. Her work is simultaneously bold and vulnerable, expressing the joy and darkness of the erotic and the duality of human experience, woven with her identity politics of being of a San decent.