Pre-and post-democracy banknotes

South Africa, AD 1980s and 1999

The Apartheid regime was brought in by the Afrikaner National Party in 1948, to cement control of the economic and social systems in South Africa. The banknotes of Apartheid South Africa feature Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677), the Dutch administrator who founded Cape Town in 1652.

In 1994 the world's focus was on South Africa as it moved towards the first democratic elections and the final dismantling of the racist Apartheid system. To reflect the new South Africa and its national identity many state symbols were redesigned. In place of Jan van Riebeeck, the new banknotes feature South African wildlife - a national symbol everyone can agree on.

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More information


J. Williams (ed.), Money: a history (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)


Museum number

CM 1992-31-34 / 2000-1-13-1



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