What are exchange controls?
are measures taken by a government to control “the purchase/sale of foreign currencies by residents or on the purchase/sale of local currency by non-residents,” explains Wikipedia
The South African Reserve Bank uses exchange controls. These have been relaxed over the years, but they’re still in place.
Governments employ exchange controls in a bid to control large movements of its currency. These could have a negative impact on the currency.
What South Africa’s exchange controls mean for you
As a South African, exchange controls have an impact on you and how you handle your money abroad.
Each South African living in SA has a discretionary annual allowance of R1 million. You can use this for overseas travel, investing overseas, gifts and a wide array of other purposes.
If you require more than R1 million a year, you need to apply for tax clearance from SARS. This is up to the value of R4 million (on top of the R1 million discretionary allowance).
If you want to travel overseas, exchange controls mean you can only buy foreign currency 60 days before travelling and you must show your air ticket. On return to SA, you must change foreign currency within 30 days.
If you’re travelling to Namibia, Lesotho or Swaziland, you can use rands there as these countries form part of the common monetary area. If you’re travelling to these countries, you can’t buy foreign currency.
So there you have it. What exchange controls mean for you taking money out of SA.
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