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Suid-Afrikaanse Rand
South African Rand

Old Rand Notes (1970-1994)

For the new (post-1994) South African notes, click here.

The old South African notes (used under apartheid), reflected Afrikaner culture and heritage. The obverse of the notes featured Jan van Riebeeck in the left panel, and a theme in the background beneath the text.

Note Colour Scheme Obverse Reverse
R2 Blue Infrastructure Manufacturing
R5 Maroon Diamond Mining
R10 Green Protea flower
(national symbol of South Africa)
R20 Brown Groot Constantia historic wine estate Jan van Riebeeck's landing party,
South African Coat of Arms
R50 Red Lion Natural environment

On the obverse, each note contains the following text in Afrikaans and English:

Ek beloof op aanvraag te betaal aan toonder te Pretoria (bedrag)
I promise to pay the bearer on demand at Pretoria (amount)


Vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reserwebank
For the South African Reserve Bank

Afrikaans was the first language on the R2, R10 and R50 notes, while English was the first language on the R5 and R20 notes.

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Jan van Riebeeck

Jan van Riebeeck (1619-1677) featured prominently on the old South African rand notes, featuring on the obverse of each note.

Van Riebeeck was the Dutch colonial administrator who established Cape Town in 1652, and is a significant figure in South African, and especially Afrikaner, history. Many Afrikaners view van Riebeeck as the father of the Afrikaner nation.

Van Riebeeck also featured on the reverse of the R20 note, albeit indirectly, with an image of van Riebeeck's landing party (three ships) and the (old) South African Coat of Arms, with the Latin motto "Ex Unitate Vires" -- "From Unity, Strength" (also translated as "Unity Creates Strength"). "Ex Unitate Vires" was South Africa's motto until 27 April, 2000, when the new Coat of Arms and motto were adopted. Variations of the old motto were common in many Afrikaner and South African institutions, often in Afrikaans ("Eendrag maak mag") or Dutch ("Eendragt maakt magt" in old orthography, "Eendracht maakt macht" in modern orthography).

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