Wie was Daan Desimaal / Who was Decimal Dan?

“1/2 sent vir een pennie en een sent vir twee…”

Op 14 Februarie 1961 het Suid-Afrika oorgeskakel vanaf sterling na die desimale sisteem.

Bank notes and coins, South AfricaTo help in the switch, the government devised the song “Decimal Dan / Daan Desimaal” (played by Barry Wiehahn; composed by Dan Hill and Jimmy Raysond) who became a household name throughout SA as he blared out his message to a rock ‘n roll beat.

“Decimal Dan, the rand-cent man,
 gives you cents for pennies whenever he can,
one cent for a penny, and two for two,
and two-and-a-half for a tickey (a three-penny coin).”

Refrain:
“And notes and silver are worth the same,
remember it’s just a change in their name.”

South African Reserve Bank, Five Pound bank note

Before this date, the values were as follows:
Twenty shillings made 1 £,
Twelve pennies made a shilling,
A half-crown was worth “two and six” (2 shillings and 6 pennies), and a crown was 5 shillings.

For 1 penny you could buy 4 nickerballs.
A “one and six” could buy a big packet of Motto sweets (those sweets that had sayings on them such as “I love you” or “Stay with me”).

Three pennies were called a “ticky”,
Six pennies were called “sixpence”,
A shilling was called a “bob”, and
A guinea was one pound and one shilling.

Some of the Afrikaans words were:
A “oortjie” was a “kwartpennie”,
A “stuiwer” was a “halfpennie”,
A “oulap” was slang for a penny,
A “twalap” was slang for two pennies, and
A “daalder” was one shilling and six pennies or “one and six”.

The term “daalder” came from the old rijksdaalder, introduced by the Dutch at the Cape. A “rijksdaalder” was worth 15 cents.

The Guinea was used as the basis on which the professionals (doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc) based their rates.