The obverse shows the Coat of Arms of South Africa at centre, dividing the date [year], with the legend SOUTH AFRICA written around in all the eleven official languages of the country (the order may vary):
Ningizimu Afrika in Zulu,
Aforika Borwa in Tswana,
Afurika Tshipembe in Venda,
Afrika Borwa in Northern Sotho and Southern Sotho,
South Africa in English,
iSewula Afrika in Southern Ndebele,
uMzantsi Afrika in Xhosa,
iNingizimu Afrika in Swazi,
Suid-Afrika in Afrikaans, and
Afrika Dzonga in Tsonga.
The designer's initials ALS (for Arthur L. Sutherland) are to the left of the Coat of Arms.