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Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

Lisbon, Portugal
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Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

We will be in Capetown and surrounds for approx 10 weeks and I was hoping we could open a simple savings account while we are there... any thoughts on this?

thanks

Helen

Port Elizabeth
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for South Africa
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1. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

I can't imagine you would be able to open one without a work/study permit and proof of address.

The question is "Why would you want one?'" Our bank fees are extremely high, they even charge you to deposit money into your account.

Tempe, Arizona
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for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
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2. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

I'm an American with a Savings account at Absa bank. It comes with a debit card and a R4000 per transaction at an Absa ATM. I don't remember all the details from when I opened it, but it did take some sort of authorization from one of the bank departments that delayed the process for a couple of hours. In other words, couldn't be completed on-the-spot but was completed that same day.

Gold Coast...
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for Kruger National Park
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3. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

As you have mentioned previously about the importance of internet access, wouldn't having access to your account on line and drawing cash out from ATMs would be sufficient.

Australian banks have some of the best online banking anywhere and everything can be done without even going into a bank.

As Lamlee says, why would you really need it? It will only cost you money to run.

Johannesburg, South...
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4. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

Hi Helen,

I agree with thesandmans and lamlee, that it probably doesn't make sense for you to open an SA account even if it is possible. Everything you need to pay for in SA can be paid either by credit card/debit card, which are universally accepted across the country, and there is an excellent network of ATM's if you need cash. I would think that it would be more hassle than its worth for such a limited time.

Hope this gives you a bit of food for thought.

Regards.

Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me | South Africa

Maun, Botswana
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5. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

Yes, you can open a 'non-resident' account - quite easily. Regulations on a non-resident account are that:

1 Only foreign exchange can be paid into the account - no Rand

2 You can be issued with Debit Cards and a cheque card, but not a credit card

3 You are not allowed to go into an overdraft situation

4. You cannot transfer any money from the account overseas again.

To open the account you will need your passport and complete the necessary forms. It is better to open your non-resident account in a major centre such as Cape Town, Jo'berg, Pretoria etc, as many rural banks are unused to the procedures.

Opening an RSA bank account makes sense if you will be in South Africa for some time, not just a short holiday visit. You will save a great deal of money for bank charges from an overseas account for drawing cash and using debit cards and direct debit orders. All Accounts can be operated on the internet, making them easy to use wherever you are.

One useful Bank is:

Nedbank:

Non Resident Banking

Office: +27 011 480 3799

Fax+27 011 480 3765/8

e-mail: nedcbrrosebank@nedbank.co.za

Hermanus, South...
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6. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

I have to agree with Lamlee and Sandmans on this one.

SA banks charge you for absolutely everything, it is really quite bad.

They charge you to pay in, they charge you to take out, they charge you to swipe etc etc, the list goes on and on.

I seriously doubt you will save money by having an account in SA, so if that is the reason for wanting one then I wouldn't bother, you are better off using your overseas card and ATM machines.

A lot of my Australian clients don't like to pay us by bank transfer into South Africa as they say the fees are high on the side of the Aussie banks to pay into SA banks.....so if the plan was to open an account and then send money over that could also be costly.

Lisbon, Portugal
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7. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

Your messages have been very helpful.

The bank charges are certainly quite steep, but we now have more info to consider our options.

Thank you all.

8. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

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Berkhamsted, United...
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9. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

A blocked account retains funds of residents who formally emigrated from SA. Do you know if you formally emigrated? When we left, our bank didn't offer assistance with formal emigration procedures so we used ABSA who were very good - but I suspect it depends very much on the individual you deal with.

Queensland...
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10. Re: Can foreigner (Aussie) open a Bank Account in SA?

post 2: " It comes with a debit card and a R4000 per transaction at an Absa ATM." Is this a fee?!?