Bloomberg News

S. Africa Simplifies Exchange Controls Rules for Individuals

October 27, 2011

(Updates with comment from National Treasury starting in second paragraph.)

Oct. 27 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa will simplify foreign exchange control rules for individuals, allowing them to take as much as 5 million rand ($646,312) offshore a year, the National Treasury said.

The new allowance will incorporate an existing 4 million rand annual foreign investment allowance, a 1 million rand travel allowance and payments permitted for alimony and weddings, the Pretoria-based Treasury said in a statement on its website today.

South African exchange controls were maintained in the 1970’s after countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. imposed sanctions on the apartheid regime. They have been progressively relaxed since all-race elections in 1994. The changes follow an easing of rules on cross-border money transfers announced in the medium-term budget statement on Oct. 25.

The Treasury also said today that companies may buy forward cover for as much as 75 percent of their budgeted import commitments or export accruals for the next financial year without having to apply for permission from the central bank.

Companies will also be allowed to pay for as much as 50 percent of capital goods in advance, up from a present limit of 33 percent, and to top up capital in their offshore business from South Africa, it said.

--Editors: Gordon Bell, Karl Maier

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at mcohen21@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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