I honour Nelson Mandela’s legacy as much as the next South African coloured person who did not experience apartheid, but I prefer having the rhino on the front of the ten rand note.
Our government has become irresponsible, and inconsiderate : the rand dropped over 2.5 percent against the dollar on Friday after the Reserve Bank said there would be an announcement of “national importance” – without giving any details except to say that President Jacob Zuma, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus would be present. The suggestion of an announcement of national importance over a weekend implies it could possibly affect markets. Announcements such as these are generally made after trade.
Then, no one consulted the people who would be using these notes. I for one am against eradicating our Big5. Did COP17 frighten our government? Our Rhinos are already near extinction, and then our government decides to pull this stunt. Media suggests that the Big5 will not completely disappear – they will still be on the “reverse” side of the notes. What utter rubbish – I never look at the back of my notes!
Mandela is the Founding Father of our Nation. Mandela is awesome, his contribution to our country has been amazing, and if these notes are an attempt for each and every South African to somehow feel empowered when we pay for the release of food, clothing or cars from the confines of a supermarket or mall, then I’m all for it. But putting Mandela’s face on EVERY single note pisses me off, aaand what about our other freedom fighters? The likes of Steve Biko, Lilian Ngoyi, Joe Slovo, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu. What are we saying of their dedication, what do we say of their memory? I am all for Nelson Mandela appearing on my five rand coin, and celebrating Mandela Day, but seriously!