SARB recalls R200 note for upgrading

THE South African Reserve Bank is recalling and upgrading the R200 note, it said yesterday.

The recall, however, was not because of the recent spate of counterfeit notes, SARB said.

Recently there have been reports of fake R200 notes circulating around the country and some shop owners have put up signs that they are not accepting R200 notes.

Head of currency and protection at SARB Aboobaker Ismael said it was unacceptable for shop owners to do so.

"All our businesses should be accepting all of our currency. We understand if they have some concerns but what is important is people should be able to trade and exchange using our currency," Ismael said.

Head of strategy and communication Hlengani Mathebula said: "I can safely say the upgrading of the notes was not triggered by counterfeit.

"I acknowledge that there might be notes that are fake circulating, but we are doing this process to make sure that South African money is safe and upgraded."

He said it was normal procedure to keep on upgrading the country's notes. "Most of the notes were printed between 1994 and 2004. They are old notes, its not because there was a specific risk."

The upgraded notes have a new feature on them, the South African Coat of Arms, which the old note did not have.

Mathebula said the figure would be on the left-hand side of the note at the back of the note. "The gold shimmering band is on the back and in the silver shining strip in the security thread of the note."

He said another feature would be diamond shapes, which raise the feel on the front of the note that would assist the blind.

South Africans are urged to exchange the old notes before or on May 31 at any of the commercial banks or any branch of SARB.