The South African rand (ZAR) is the official currency of South Africa. It is also used as legal tender in Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland, given their link to South Africa through the Common Monetary Area. All three countries have their own currencies too. One rand is divided into 100 cents.
If you plan to send money to a South African bank account you will need to bank’s SWIFT code. The corresponding table lists SWIFT codes of some prominent banks in South Africa.
Chris planned to travel from the United Kingdom to South Africa with his wife for a holiday. After he found a suitable hotel, he contacted it directly to check if he could get a discount. He also wanted to pay for their stay in advance, while he was still in the UK. The hotel gave him a discount as well as the ability wire the money directly into its South African bank account. He compared his options before making the transfer, and this is what he found.
|BANK||MONEY TRANSFER SERVICE|
|Exchange rate||GBP 1 = ZAR 16.0769||GBP 1 = ZAR 16.8055|
|Transfer fee||GBP 15||GBP 0|
|Amount received for GBP 3,500||ZAR 56,028.00||ZAR 58,819.25|
|Transfer time||2 to 5 days||1 to 3 days|
|Transfer options||Bank account||Bank account|
|Difference of||ZAR 2,791.25|
Chris was required to pay a total of ZAR 65,000 for the stay, and he paid a significant portion of it from the UK. By choosing the money transfer company instead of the bank, he ended up saving close to ZAR 2,800.
To send money to South Africa quickly, consider using the services of companies that have offices or agent locations in the country. Some of your options include WorldRemit, Western Union, and MoneyGram.
|WORLDREMIT IN SOUTH AFRICA|
|Johannesburg Makuru Shop 6A, Kempton Place 12 Pretoria Park Johannesburg||Makuru Shop F04 International Arrivals O.R Tambo International Airport Jonanesburg|
|Cape Town Makuru Shop G08, Clock Tower Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Cape Town||Makuru Shop G7, Mutual Height Building 102 Longmarket Street Cape Town CBD|
|WESTERN UNION IN SOUTH AFRICA|
|Johannesburg Master Currency Shop 115, Upper Level, Nelson Mandella Square Sandton Johannesburg||Master Currency Shop 225, Rosebank Mall Rosebank Johannesburg|
|Cape Town Master Currency Suite 1816, 18th Floor, Absa Building 2 Riebeeck Street Cape Town||Master Currency Shop No 5, Sanso Building Cnr Riebeeck and St Georges Cape Town|
Crime levels in South Africa are high. Thefts, muggings, carjackings, and armed assaults are reported often, especially from areas frequented by tourists. There have been instances of violent crimes involving foreigners.
If you plan to collect a large sum of money from a cash pickup center, try to take someone trustworthy along. Avoid withdrawing or changing large sums of money in crowded areas. Do not display large sums of money and expensive jewelry, phones, or cameras.
There is a significant rise in crimes after dark, especially in and around major townships city centers. Armed robberies may take place in malls too. If confronted by an armed robber, it is in your best interest to comply.
When driving, be particularly watchful at stop signs, traffic lights, yield signs, as well as highway off-ramps. Make sure the windows are rolled up and the doors are locked at all times. Park your vehicle in well lit areas.
The information you need to provide when transferring money into South Africa depends on the mode of transfer you select.
The South African rand is a free-floating fully convertible currency so you may transfer it in or out of the country with ease.
The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) functions as the country’s central bank and its financial regulator. The bank enforces restrictions on cross-border fund transfers to prevent money laundering and to regulate inflow and outflow of money to and from the country. If you wish to carry out a forex transaction, you are required to use the services of brokers that are registered as Financial Services Providers (FSPs) with SARB.
Locals require clearance from South African Revenue Services (SARS) if they plan to transfer any amount more than one million rand. As a non-resident, you may retrieve any amount of money transferred into the country, provided you have proof surrounding the original transfers.
When entering South Africa, you may carry up to ZAR 25,000 in cash. If you are bringing in other currencies, the total may not exceed U.S. $10,000 or its equivalent. If you carry more than these amounts, you will need to declare it upon arrival.