The following is an extract from the Exchange Control Manual, published by the South African Reserve Bank and is reproduced verbatim, with acknowledgement to the SARB.
We will update this text from time to time as and when amendments are issued, but we suggest that visitors check with a Global Foreign Exchange Branch for the latest allowances and regulations.
Travel facilities may be provided by way of traveller's cheques, foreign bank notes and credit and/or debit cards. In the event of travellers cheques being issued, such cheques must be signed in the presence of the issuing official and unsigned travellers cheques may under no circumstances be made available.
Persons eligible to receive foreign exchange allowances for travel outside the Common Monetary Area (CMA), within the limits described hereunder, fall into the following categories:
Not eligible to receive foreign exchange travel allowances are:
Limits per calendar year
The total amounts of foreign exchange, which may be availed of for traveling expenses during a calendar year for one or more visits outside the CMA are listed below:
In according a person a travel allowance the foreign exchange made available per applicant may be provided in any form. In addition, Common Monetary Area residents traveling overland to and from Namibia, through Botswana, may be provided with Botswana Pula up to an amount of R5 000 per annum over and above the limits mentioned above.
Significance of calendar year
Travel facilities not availed of during any one calendar year may not be carried forward to the following year. However, where an allowance is provided in one year but the visit extends over the year-end, a full allowance may still be provided for any subsequent travel during the second year, provided the traveler has first returned to the RSA.
Use of credit and/or debit cards
Up to 100% of the authorised, prescribed or available travel allowance may be utilised by a traveller by means of one or more credit and/or debit cards issued in his name provided:
The percentage of the travel allowance, which may be used by means of credit and/or debit cards, refers only to the allowance applicable to the individual cardholder for the specific journey in respect of which the travel allowance is accorded.
Where a traveller wishes to make additional use of such cards to cover up to 100% of the travel allowance accorded to a spouse or child an application must be submitted to Exchange Control.
Matters to be referred to Exchange Control
Applications for travel allowances exceeding the abovementioned limits should be referred to Exchange Control.
Norms applied and factors considered
In applying the norm that the allowances should be used for the purpose stated and should be reasonable, Exchange Control will, inter-alia, take the following factors into account:
Advance payments for land arrangements
Tours, Hotel Accommodation and Tickets Persons eligible for a travel allowance who are not utilising the services of a travel agent or a tour operator, may, prior to the purchase of a passenger ticket, be provided with exchange to make advance payments or payments in full in respect of:
Foreign exchange to meet the expenses indicated in the above paragraph may be made available only against production of documentary evidence in the form of an invoice or pro forma invoice or a facsimile copy thereof (not a brochure) from the foreign beneficiary provided:
To provide for the payment of excess baggage charges travellers may, when purchasing passenger tickets in the RSA, be issued with Specified MPD's against payment in Rand. The Specified MPD must be clearly endorsed: "For payment of Excess Baggage Charges only - refundable only in Republic of South Africa". The amount of the Specified MPD need not be deducted from the traveler's travel allowance.
South African Residents proceeding abroad on a temporary basis
Such persons qualify for the following:
Form N.E.P. must be attested to cover the export of the relevant goods. Authorised Dealers may also authorise the export on Form N.E.P. of farming implements per family unit or single person proceeding into SADC member countries for farming purposes where the insurance value does not exceed R1 million. Such persons must furnish an undertaking that: