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.

Famous SA landmark for maritime navigators

The Cape of Good Hope, south of Cape Town is a famous landmark for maritime navigators.

Cape of Good Hope present day
Cape of Good Hope (present day)

This famous landmark is also known as the Cape of Storms, named by the brave Portuguese navigators who explored the southern ocean in the 16th century. The early Spice Route around the Cape has evolved into a busy shipping route and rich fishing grounds. It is regarded as the mythical meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, although geographically Cape Agulhas is the most southern tip of the African continent.

Map of the Cape of Good Hope, showing Table Bay, the Castle, streets, blocks, etc., 1760 (M1/338, C.A.P.), Cape Town, South Africa
Map of the Cape of Good Hope, showing Table Bay, the Castle, streets, blocks, etc., 1760 (M1/338, C.A.P.).