Central bank has full autonomy to decide on features
The Bank of Botswana (BoB) has full autonomy to decide on whose portrait goes on the P10.00 banknote as it changes the note’s features at its own discretion.
It is only with the endorsement and consent of the Minister of Finance and Economic Development that the central bank can augment features on any of the bank’s notes.
This was revealed by BoB Governor, Moses Pelaelo at the unveiling of the new ‘plastic’ P10.00 bank note expected to start circulating on February 1 2018, contributing to the P2,9 billion currently in circulation.
The new banknote which still bears the portrait of out going President Seretse Khama Ian Khama is made of plastic, a polymer substrate that makes it more durable.
Speaking at the new note’s unveiling at the BoB boardroom in Gaborone recently, Pelaelo said the new note will drastically reduce the bank’s expenses that were associated with the frequency of ordering new notes of the old cotton P10.00 from the printers.
“The P10.00 banknote has the highest circulation rate and stays longer in circulation compared to higher denominations,” said the Governor before adding that the P10.00 note is under normal circumstances expected to stay in circulation for an approximate period of four months.
The Governor highlighted that the bank has realized that the note stays in circulation for almost eight months because it is largely used as change.
“It would thus, be highly soiled by the time it is deposited at the bank for sorting and destruction,” he noted.
Pelaelo added that because of the P10.00 note’s low value, but high circulation, it is rarely deposited with commercial banks for onward transmission to the bank for sorting, destruction and replacement.
“The bank is concerned that the soiled P10.00 banknotes in circulation have the potential to undermine public confidence in the quality of the national currency and also likely to tarnish the country’s image,” he said.
The new P10.00 note non-absorbent nature provides an effective barrier to moisture and soiling, keeping the banknotes cleaner for a longer period of time.
The new banknote boasts of security features such as holograms, see-through ‘windows’ that contain hard-to-forge images that will curtail the potential for currency counterfeiting.