Central Bank of Swaziland

Currency

The Central Bank of Swaziland’s mission is to foster financial sector stability conducive to economic development in the Kingdom. Our vision is to be amongst the top five leading Central Banks in the Eastern and Southern African region. In order to achieve these, the Bank is expected to execute its mandate as provided for in the Central Bank of Swaziland Order of 1975, as amended.

Part of this mandate is that of issuing and redeeming currency in the Kingdom of Swaziland. This responsibility has been executed by the Bank since the very first day the local currency was introduced as legal tender on 6th September 1974.

Currency refers to money in any form when in actual use or circulation as a medium of exchange, especially circulating banknotes and coins. A more general definition is that a currency is a system of money (monetary units) in common use, especially in a nation.

In Swaziland we have five (5) denominations of Emalangeni bank notes (E200, E100, E50, E20 and E10) and seven (7) denominations of coins (5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, E1, E2 and E5). The Lilangeni Currency (SZL) was introduced in 1974 at par with the South African Rand through the CMA (Common Monetary Area) to which it remains tied at a one-to-one exchange rate.

The Central Bank of Swaziland as empowered by the Central Bank Order of 1974 as amended has the sole right to issue notes and coins which are a legal tender within Swaziland. No other person other than CBS shall issue in Swaziland notes or coins or any documents or tokens payable to bearer on demand, having the appearance of or purporting to be currency. Any person contravening this act shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of E10000 or imprisonment for seven years or both, as a cording to the CBS order

It is therefore the duty for the Currency Division of the Central Bank, through the use of a Clean Bank Note and Cash Management Policies to ensure that there is sufficient and secure cash in circulation to meet demand in the country. Good quality of currency in circulation makes it easier for the public to detect counterfeits. The currency produced must be of a high international standard with appropriate security features; be economical; aesthetically pleasing; secure against currency tourism from neighbouring countries and counterfeiting. Gaining and maintaining public confidence in currency is a key role of the CBS and one which is essential to the proper functioning of the economy.

Note Production, Circulation and Quality Management – this area has the fundamental responsibility for selecting the substrate, designing of the bank notes and coins and ensuring that high level security features are embedded in the currency. This allows managing the process of meeting national needs and continuous monitoring the volumes of bank notes and coins while eliminating the threat of counterfeiting.

CBS has the responsibility to manage public confidence and currency integrity. While the bank is responsible for the issuance of new banknotes with requisite levels of security features for their authentication, it also has to be monitored and adhered to in the market by all stakeholders concerned. The challenge therefore for the Bank is to balance the cost of increasing sophisticated security features against the threat of counterfeiting and the cost of effectiveness of managing the processing of these features