The South African Mint showers attention on ‘Environmental Rights’ with new release

Centurion, South Africa – 08 July 2019: The South African Mint showers attention on ‘Environmental Rights’ with new release

The South African Mint, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), today releases into circulation a new R2 commemorative circulation coin themed ‘Environmental Rights’ as part of its coin programme launched last month to commemorate 25 years of South Africa’s constitutional democracy.

The SA25 themed Celebrating South Africa coin series features five commemorative R2 circulation coins, a commemorative R5 coin and three collectable coins in gold, silver and bronze alloy.

Designed by Pretoria-based artist, Maaike Bakker, the reverse (tails) of the R2 circulation coin features an illustration representing the environment showing water and a fish, land with plants and the sky with clouds and the sun. According to Bakker, these symbols highlight the idea of a well-balanced, protected environment that is not harmful to the wellbeing of those inhabiting it.

All featured elements have been simplified to allow for direct communication of the theme of ‘environment’. The close integration of these elements within the composition highlights the aim to protect the environment for future generations. The design was inspired by the country’s great outdoors, access to which is guaranteed by the South African constitution.

The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written in English and ‘Afrika-Dzonga’ in Xitsonga.

All the SA25 commemorative circulation 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.

Unveiling the new coin, Tumi Tsehlo, South African Mint Managing Director says, “The coin is emblematic of our natural heritage and every time you receive it as part of change, we hope you are encouraged to contribute towards saving the environment for the future generations.”

Over the past decade an irrefutable truth has emerged – the environment is in danger and lies exposed. Mankind’s progress has had irreversible consequences on the environment from pollution, population growth, greenhouse emissions and deforestation, among others. Human activities are mainly to blame, and reversing it squarely remains the responsibility of everyone around the world.

“Every individual could play a significant role to combat this problem. I am very pleased that South Africans of all ages will be able to collect these coins as keepsakes, to serve as a reminder of their responsibility towards the environment,” says Mr Tsehlo in conclusion.

South Africans will soon find these coins in their change; and are encouraged to find, collect and keep these special SA25 circulation coins through a specially designed collectors’ folder produced to hold all the six coins. This folder can be collected, at no cost, from the South African Mint’s retail store in Centurion, as well as the various other outlets mentioned on the SA25 website.

The commemorative coins are introduced in a phased manner – two a month – and this month they feature the themes ‘Environmental Rights’ as well as the ‘Freedom of Movement and Residence’.

The SARB Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, announced the SA25 range of commemorative circulation coins last month 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 – R2. The SARB issues commemorative circulation coins as part of its currency production function.

“The South African Mint is proud to help South Africans celebrate their rights guaranteed by the constitution with the new SA25 commemorative circulation coins,” concludes Tsehlo.

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 as individual coins from the South African Mint’s retail outlets, listed on the SA25 website, More information is also available on:

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


About Artist Maaike Bakker: Maaike was born in Pretoria in 1986. After matriculating, Bakker went on to complete a degree and later a Masters’ degree in the field of Visual Arts. Bakker has since progressed to practicing as a visual artist, curator, illustrator and educator in the South African creative industry. Other than predominantly producing and exhibiting within a local context, Bakker has also participated in various projects and exhibitions abroad. Bakker is represented by Kalashnikovv gallery, JHB and also runs an arts project space NO END contemporary with gallery partners Dalene Victor-Meyer and Jayne Crawshay-Hall. Alongside her creative practice, Bakker lectures at The Open Window, an institution positioned in the field of creative education.