In reply to by Jerome (not verified)

Good morning Jerome,

Fundamentally the answer should be 'Money is money'. In practice, the answer in this country is more difficult. Local banks are forced by the South African Reserve Bank to report the origin of foreign currency. This means that converting a clients foreign currency is very difficult for us. We need to prove the origin of the funds and will spend lots of time at the bank. Last but not least, we will get a disadvantageous conversion rate. In practice we easily lose 20-25% in fees, and the rate at which the bank buys the foreign currency. This makes little business sense, so we would have to charge you 25% more to pay in USD.

If you want to be very discreet, we suggest you change money at the airport, when you enter the country. You can also draw local currency at every ATM machine in South Africa. Please keep in mind, that most banks have a limit how much you can draw per day. In most cases that limit will be less than R5000 per transaction, as that is the reporting threshold for the tax authorities.

Most South Africans do not run around with lots of cash, as they fear being mugged. They pay everything with a bank card. We respectfully suggest you do the same when in South Africa. You are welcome to pay us with credit card.

 

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