Banks and Foreign Exchange in South Africa

  1. South African banks are able to accommodate all international transactions.
  2. Banks are open from Monday to Friday (09:00 to 15:30) and on Saturdays from 08:30 to 11:00.
  3. It is recommended that international students open a bank account. It is a relatively simple process to open an account at the major banks. For this purpose you would require proof of registration, your passport and proof of accommodation while studying in South Africa.

Foreign Exchange

Traveller's cheques and foreign currency can be exchanged at most banks. Businesses, tour operators, airlines and hotels generally accept international credit cards, including Visa, Master, American Express and Diners Club cards. There is also a facility at the Johannesburg International Airport arrivals hall.

Credit cards

Most major credit cards and traveller's cheques in major currencies are accepted.

Information when Purchasing Foreign Exchange in SA

Foreign exchange can be purchased 60 days prior to departure from South Africa.

  1. To purchase your foreign exchange, visit your closest Bidvest Bank/Rennies Foreign Exchange branch with the following documentation:

    i) Valid passport
    ii) Proof of travel arrangements
    iii) Green bar-coded identity document/temporary resident permit
    iv) Proof of residential address (not older than three months)

The SARB's current exchange control limits (discretionary allowance) for South African residents is a maximum of R1 000 000 per calendar year (1 January to 31 December) for adults and a maximum of R200 000 per calendar year for those residents that are under the age of 18.

This discretionary allowance is designed for the payment of travel expenses, gifts, donations and maintenance.

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