Tag Archive for: Cyril Ramaphosa

A number of tax and financial groups have issued warnings over a new draft bill which will introduce changes for South Africans looking to take their retirement funds out of the country.

Under the current system, members of preservation funds and retirement annuity funds may withdraw from such funds if they formally emigrate from South Africa for exchange control purposes and their emigration is approved by the South African Reserve Bank

However, changes in the draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (TLAB) will effectively phase out the concept of emigration for exchange control purposes.

The amendment will mean that South Africans emigrating from the country will only be able to make a withdrawal when a retirement fund member has ceased to be an tax resident and has remained so for a consecutive period of at least three years.

The change has come under fire as the TLAB was the subject of public hearings in parliament on Wednesday (7 October).

Impractical and draconian

“The proposed requirement that an individual be non-resident for a period of three years prior to being entitled to access retirement funds is impractical, draconian and will present administrative difficulties for both SARS and taxpayers,” said professional services firm PwC in its submission.

The firm said that where an individual permanently departs from South Africa, the proposed rules could – depending on the particular circumstances of that individual – result in considerable financial hardship for an extended period of time before retirement funds are available.

“Under the current rules, a person who emigrates is entitled to withdraw their retirement funds immediately. Under the proposed rules, they would now need to wait for at least three years before being able to do so,” the firm said.

“Retirement funds are frequently required by emigrants to make emigration financially viable and the proposed rules will severely impact this.”

As an alternative, PwC recommended that the proposed three-year residence rule should be replaced with another ‘more practical rule’.

“For example, it could be linked to a person ceasing to be ordinarily resident in South Africa – as opposed to necessarily not tax resident,” it said.

The opposite of modern

In its submission,  Tax Consulting SA said that the amendment is at ‘cross purposes’ to its intended goal of a more ‘modern’ exchange control system.

It highlighted that under the new system , retirement benefits will effectively be locked in and will be inaccessible to the individual in question for a minimum period of three years, even after they have left South Africa permanently.

This restriction will only be lifted once the taxpayer in question is able to prove they have been non-resident for an uninterrupted period of at least three years.

“By any measure, this new test is the opposite of modernisation and a step back towards locking in retirement funds after becoming non-resident for tax and exchange control purposes,” it said.

“Furthermore, if the test is to be based on residency, it is not clear why withdrawal is subject to a period of three full years. If the taxpayer has ceased residency, why impose a punitive lock-in of this extent?,” the firm asked.

Tax Consulting SA that the proposed amendment will do away with a well-established process that allows emigrants to freely expatriate their retirement benefits with one that is far more restrictive and less transparent.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Government has gazetted a number of directives which clarify and update a number of rules around the country’s move to a level 2 lock-down.

This includes changes around events such as weddings, rules around travelling as well as a new list of services which will be offered by Home Affairs.

These changes are outlined in more detail below.

Home Affairs services

Home Affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has confirmed that the following additional services will be available at Home Affairs offices during the level 2 lock-down:

  • Applications for first issue of Identity Card or Green Barcoded Identity Documents;
  • Applications for Identity Cards or Green Barcoded Identity Documents by persons who have been issued with a Temporary Identity Certificate during the national state of disaster, which certificates have expired;
  • Applications for amendments of personal particulars;
  • Applications for rectification of personal particulars;
  • Back Office records retrieval services.

The directive also states that all temporary identity certificates issued during the period of the national state of disaster that have not yet expired on the date of commencement of this Directions, are hereby extended up to 31 October 2020.

Weddings and other events 

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has published a new directive clarifying the rules around weddings and other events.

The regulations state that attendance at a venue for a wedding, exhibition or any other function is limited to 50 persons and all hygienic conditions and physical distancing measures must be adhered to, for the limitation of exposure of persons to Covid-19.

The directive further states that the person organizing the wedding, exhibition or function and the owner or manager of the venue must ensure compliance with the requirement relating to physical distancing of at least one and a half metres and the wearing of a cloth face mask, a homemade item or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth, by all attendees.

Other requirements include:

  • Set up screening stations at entrances to facilitate the screening of persons before entry;
  • Not allow access to a person who is not wearing a cloth mask, or homemade item that covers the nose and mouth or another appropriate item to cover the nose and mouth;
  • Ensure that every person wears a cloth face mask, a homemade item or another appropriate item that covers the nose and mouth at all times except when eating or drinking;
  • Ensure that every person sanitizes before entry;
  • Sanitize microphones and podiums after use by every person.


Transport minister Fikile Mbalula has published a new directive indicating that domestic passenger flights are permitted at the following airports:

  • Bram Fischer International Airport;
  • Cape Town International Airport;
  • East London Airport;
  • George Airport;
  • Hoedspruit Airport;
  •  Kimberly Airport;
  •  King Shaka International Airport;
  •  Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport;
  • Lanseria International Airport;
  • Margate Airport;
  • Mthatha Airport;
  • OR Tambo International Airport;
  • Phalaborwa Airport;
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport;
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport;
  • Richards Bay Airport;
  • Skukuza Airport;
  • Upington International Airport.

The directive also confirms that all international passenger flights are prohibited, except those flights authorized by the Minister of Transport.

Public transport 

In a separate directive, Mbalula  confirmed that all long-distance intra-provincial and inter-provincial travel by private vehicles and public transport services are permitted.

  • Minibus, midibus or minibus taxi -type services are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger-carrying capacity for long-distance intra-provincial travel and inter-provincial travel;
  • Bus services are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their licensed passenger-carrying capacity for long-distance intra-provincial and inter-provincial travel;
  • Bus, minibus, midibus, minibus taxi -type services, e-hailing services, meter taxis, shuttle services, chauffeur driven vehicles and scholar transport vehicles are permitted to carry 100% of their maximum licensed passenger capacity for short-distance travel;
  • Rail operations are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their licensed passenger capacity.

The directive also confirms that the transportation of liquor is now permitted.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has published the official alert level 2 lockdown regulations for South Africa.

The directive comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country will ease its lockdown restrictions from midnight on Monday (17 August).

While Ramaphosa has announced most of the prominent changes, the directive provides further clarity on a number of issues and makes the change to level 2 official.

Notably, the directive does not make any mention around the sale of tobacco products, although this may be clarified in a later set of regulations.

The most prominent changes are outlined below.

Curfew and masks

  • Every person is confined to his or her place of residence from 22h00 until 04h00 daily, except where a person has been granted a permit or is attending to a security or medical emergency;
  • A person must when in a public place, wear a face mask; and may not be allowed to be in a public place, use any form of public transport, or enter a public building, place or premises, if that person is not wearing a face mask.


All gatherings are prohibited except a gathering at:

  • A social event at a place of residence, subject to a limitation of 10 visitors or less;
  • A faith-based institution, which is limited to 50 persons or less, depending on the size of the place of worship;
  • Attendance at a funeral is limited to 50 persons and will not be regarded as a prohibited gathering;
  • A workplace for work purposes;
  • Theatres, concerts and live performances, subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
  • Casinos, subject to a restriction on the number of persons allowed in the casino to not more than 50 percent of the available floor space.
  • Weddings, subject to a limitation of 50 persons,
  • Events at function venues, subject to a limitation of 50 persons, and directions issued by the relevant Cabinet member.

Open to the public

The directive states that the following places which are open to the public, subject to all persons wearing face masks and strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measure:

  • Fitness centres and gyms, further subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
  • Sports grounds and fields;
  • Swimming pools, further subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
  • Beaches and public parks;
  • Museums, galleries, libraries and archives;
  • Personal care services, including hairdressing, beauty treatments, make -up and nails salons and piercing and tattoo parlours;
  • Restaurants;
  • Bars, taverns, shebeens, and similar establishments, further subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less;
  • Al accommodation establishments and tour operators, subject to a restriction on the number of persons allowed in such establishments to not more than 50% of the available floor space.

The directive states that night clubs remain closed to the public.

Alcohol and tobacco

The sale of liquor by licensed premises for off-consumption, is permitted from 09h00 to 17h00, from Mondays to Thursdays, excluding Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays;

A licensed premises may also sell for on-site consumption, subject to strict adherence to the curfew.

In terms of tobacco, the sale of tobacco products has been removed from the list of economic exclusions.


Bus and taxi services – may not carry more than 70% of the licensed capacity for long distance travel.

However, they may carry 100% of the licensed capacity for any trip not regarded as long-distance travel.

A driver, owner or operator of public transport may not allow any member of the public not wearing a face mask, to board or be conveyed in a public transport owned or operated by him or her.

Warning from the President

Writing in his weekly open letter to the nation, Ramaphosa said that the country must urgently focus its efforts on recovery, but warned that a move to a lower level is not a ‘free for all’.

“It is a sign of the progress we are making in reducing new infections and demand on our health facilities. It is also a very important development as we strive to restart our economy. But it is too soon to celebrate,” he said.

Ramaphosa said that country is ‘still very much in the middle of a deadly pandemic’ that has claimed 11,000 lives in South Africa alone.

At more than half a million confirmed cases, the country has the fifth-highest number of infections globally, and there is always a chance of a resurgence of the disease, he said.

“If we ever need a stark reminder of the need for vigilance, we should look to recent events thousands of kilometres away in New Zealand.

“Three months since the country was declared coronavirus-free, New Zealand is once again under lockdown. Although the latest outbreak was of relatively few cases, the government swiftly re-imposed lockdown restrictions.”

Ramaphosa said that similar restrictions have had to be reimposed in several parts of Europe as they experience a ‘second wave’ of infections.

“We now need to manage this risk and ensure the gains we have made thus far in containing the pandemic’s spread are not reversed. The greatest threat to the health of nation right now is complacency.

“It may be that we are now permitted to meet friends and family, to visit entertainment venues, to travel for leisure and to consume alcohol in restaurants, bars and taverns.

“But as the old adage goes, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

South Africa is still under certain COVID-19 lock-down travel restrictions, and Travelstart South Africa has been kind enough to publish a wealth of information about this on their website. The below information is courtesy of their page.

  • Business Reasons: Any person carrying out work responsibilities or performing any service permitted under Level 3, provided that such person is in possession of a permit issued by the employer
  • Moving to a new place of residence
  • Moving to care for an immediate family member
  • Members of Parliament performing oversight responsibilities
  • Learners and students who are travelling to schools or institutions when they are permitted
  • Attending a funeral
  • Transportation of mortal remains
  • Obtaining medical treatment
  • Persons who are returning to their place of residence from a quarantine or isolation facility
  • Any movement permitted under regulation 41

Please see this link for further details on Disaster Management Act: Regulations: Alert level 3 during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown. Domestic passenger air travel is not permitted for recreational, leisure or tourism purposes. All international passenger flights are prohibited except for those flights authorised by the Minister of Transport for the repatriation of South African Nationals from foreign countries and evacuation of foreign nationals from South Africa.

  • Face mask
  • Photo ID – ID Book, South African Driver’s Licence or Passport. Children must have a Birth Certificate or a certified copy of a Birth Certificate no older than 3 months. (This does not need to be an Unabridged Birth Certificate)
  • Copy of E-Ticket AND boarding pass
  • Health Declaration Document from the Department of Health
  • Travel Permit – see forms below

These forms must be completed before your arrival at the airport. Failure to produce the completed forms may result in denied boarding, resulting in your ticket being non-refundable.

Health Declaration
Employer Permit
Student Inter-provincial Travel
Permit to Transport Students
Funeral Attendance
Inter-provincial Relocation

The following airports are open for domestic air travel:

  • Arrive a minimum of 2.5 hours prior to your flight departure.
  • It is recommended that you check in online prior to departure (to minimise contact, queues and waiting time).
  • Only passengers are allowed to enter the airport, no visitors will be allowed entry.
  • Expect maximum safety protocols to be applied throughout your journey.

For a global interactive travel regulations map, visit Travelstart South Africa’s website here.


For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].