South Africa Annual Travel Allowance

The South Africa annual travel allowance forms part of the annual discretionary allowance and is available to all individuals – adults and children.

Highlights of the South Africa Annual Travel Allowance

  • Residents over the age of 18 years may utilise the annual travel allowance (within the limits of the annual discretionary allowance) for an amount of up to R1 million per calender year.south africa annual travel allowance
  • Residents that are under the age of 18 years can utilise a reduced annual travel allowance of up to R200 000 per calendar year.
  • Foreign exchange obtained as a travel allowance can be obtained in any authorised form:
    • The travel allowance can also be transferred abroad to the traveller’s own bank account, but not to an account of a third party.
    • Foreign currency must be purchased no more than 60 days prior to the departure date.
    • Unused currency must be exchanged back to Rand within 30 days of returning to South Africa.
    • In the case of a travel allowance, if you do not spend all the funds on holiday expenditure you may not keep the funds offshore or buy offshore assets.

More about the Annual Discretionary Allowance

  • Discretionary Allowance limit

The annual discretionary allowance is restricted to no more than R 1,000,000 per individual per calender year (children under 18 are restricted to R 200,000).

It should be noted that the total discretionary allowance limit of R1,000,000 is applicable to all categories under the discretionary allowance section of the Exchange Control Manual which includes:

  • Monetary gifts and loans.
  • Donations to missionaries.
  • Maintenance transfers.
  • Travel allowance.
  • Study allowance.


  • Permanent residents of South Africa, this is applicable whether the individual is a South African citizen or permanent resident as long as in possession of a bar coded South African ID Book.
  • Emigrants from South Africa who have been resident in South Africa for at least 5 years and are now leaving to take up residency in a country outside of South Africa on a permanent basis.

Calender year allowance

The significance of a calender year is that no unused allowance may be carried forward. If the travel period extends over the end of a calender year, a full allowance can still be applied for in the following year.

Where payment may be made

The discretionary allowance may be made into a bank account of the traveller abroad or in any other authorised form and minors may also have their allowances transferred into their parents account. No transfers to third party accounts are allowed.

What is considered when making an application

Authorised Dealers are designated certain responsibilities in terms of overseeing the exchange control consultation. They will take the following factors into consideration when granting authorisation:

  • Passenger tickets, mode of transport, date of departure and destination
  • Where passenger tickets are not the applicable mode of transport, the date of departure, the destination as well as the name of the border post from where the traveller will exit South Africa.
  • Undertakings from the traveller that:
    • Travel will commence within 60 days from the date of the request for foreign exchange.
    • Further foreign exchange will not be purchased in excess of the applicable limits.
    • That in the event of the travel arrangements being cancelled, the provided foreign exchange will be resold to the authorised dealer within 30 days of cancellation.

Furthermore to ensure the foreign exchange sought is to be used in accordance with the purpose stated the following factors are taken into account:

  • The duration of the visit abroad.
  • The applicants ages (elderly people may require more comforts).
  • Any disabilities or special needs.
  • Aspects of the planned travel that may influence costs such as
    • Accommodation costs.
    • Destination countries.
    • The make up of the estimated expenditure.
    • What allowances have already been used.
    • Any other special circumstances that may influence costs.

How Incompass can assist

As you would expect from an experienced foreign exchange control company we are able to guide you through your applicable allowance and complete all the required paperwork on your behalf. Of course you will also enjoy the benefit of personalised service, no administration fees and the best of currency exchange rates.

If you are considering transferring your discretionary travel allowance contact Incompass – the smart way to transfer your money.