How to legally move > R1 mil out of South Africa?


We are currently faced with tough economic conditions in South Africa. You may be considering investing internationally or even emigrating. This question will inevitably come to mind: How do I move more than R 1 mil out of South Africa, legally? There are laws connected to individuals for moving funds into and out of South Africa that apply to all industries, and all sectors within those industries, and you need to understand these laws to be able to abide by them. If you are a South African citizen, 18 years or older with a green bar-coded ID or card and you have a SARS tax number, then these laws apply to you. In this post, we will cover the various allowances that you qualify for and explain how you qualify for them and exactly how you go about moving more than a million rand out of South Africa, legally.What allowances do you qualify for, and why does this matter?

All ID carrying South African citizens with valid tax numbers qualify for two types of foreign investment allowances: a single discretionary allowance and a foreign investment allowance. These are simply different allowances that you can use to move money out of South Africa.

A single discretionary allowance allows you to send up to a million rand offshore, without having a tax clearance. A foreign investment allowance allows you to move up to R 10 mil out of South Africa, for which tax clearance is needed. If you want to move more than R 10 mil to other countries in a calendar year, then an application needs to be made to the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

When transferring money offshore the externalised amount may not be transferred to another South African resident without prior consent from SARB.

Why should you understand these allowances? With the current South African economic conditions, more South Africans are looking to make use of international businesses and international investment opportunities and, in fact, more South Africans are opting to leave South Africa. As a South African resident, you are subject to certain exchange control regulations and you need to understand your options.

How to make an international money transfer?

There are two main methods to transfer funds offshore. Through your local bank or through a currency exchange specialist.  Keep in mind that banks are not exchange specialists.

Through a currency exchange specialist, you are often able to secure a more competitive rate of exchange. Even a seemingly small variation in the rate of exchange can result in the difference of thousands of Rands on larger international currency transfers. Spend time to research and select the currency transfer specialist that you would like to partner with in the future. Building trust with your foreign exchange service provider is key to achieving the best possible rate on every trade.

Having a trustworthy partner is the first step in this process. At Currency Assist we recommend choosing a transparent partner where you set the terms of engagement together. Ask the right questions when you book your trade, including what the current interbank rate is and what spread you are paying. Consider the customer service and treatment of their current clients.

Currency Assist has a simple, five step process for international money transfers:  Step 1: Open your bank account in your name through one of our banking partners. Step 2: Transfer your funds into your new account and ensure all clearances are in place. Step 3: Contact your friendly dealer at Currency Assist to book your trade and confirm your bank beating exchange rate. Step 4: Confirm your beneficiary account. Step 5: Your funds will be transferred into your overseas account.

Are you transferring funds abroad? Browse and contact us at to transfer your funds in an easy way, beating the rates of the bank and working with our competent, friendly team of experts guiding you through the process.


South Africans are faced with a tough economic environment. You will be faced with moving over a million rand offshore if you want to diversify and protect your hard earned money through having international investment options, or if you choose international suppliers to work with, or if you are considering emigration. There are laws connected to individuals for moving funds into and out of South Africa and as an ID carrying South African citizen with a legal tax number, you qualify for a single discretionary allowance and a foreign investment allowance. These allowances allow you to move money out of South Africa of up to the value of R11 mil per calendar year and to move additional funds, you need to apply with SARB. You can move money abroad, through your bank or an international transfer specialist.  At Currency Assist, our friendly team of experts will help you to move your money offshore through a simple 5 step process.

Final Thoughts

If you are planning to move funds out of South Africa, connect with us on our website at, and one of our team of specialists will guide you through the process.

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