PURCHASE OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY – BY NON-RESIDENTS:
1. PURCHASE OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY IN SOUTH AFRICA BY NON-SOUTH AFRICANS
Any person who is a non-resident is entitled to purchase property in South Africa. A non-South African may pay for the property in cash or borrow up to 50% of the purchase price from a financial institution or a South African. Normally loans are obtained from commercial banks. It is within the discretion of the commercial bank as to whether they are prepared to loan any monies to the non-South African in respect of the purchase of the property but as stated above can only exercise such discretion up to a maximum amount of 50% of the purchase price of the property. If a loan is in fact granted, the non-South African will be required to open a bank account at a South African commercial bank which account will be referred to as a non-resident account. The same is to enable the bank to process the loan repayments.
2. PURCHASE OF PROPERTY BY IMMIGRANTS TO SOUTH AFRICA
Once a prospective immigrant has signed the “immigrants declaration and undertaking” issued by the commercial banks in South Africa, such applicant is no longer affected by the restrictions referred to in paragraph 1 above and can in fact loan the full amount of the purchase price. Such person must of course apply for and obtain permanent residence as soon as possible. The fact that a party has purchased property does not ordinary affect the party’s ability to obtain a permanent resident’s permit in South Africa. However, one can apply for permanent resident status in the “financial independence” category on the basis that the person in question has invested at least R1 500 000,00 in foreign funds in South Africa. In addition, the fact that a person has purchased a permanent residence in South Africa is a factor taken into account when assessing an application for permanent residence on the basis that a person wishes to retire to South Africa.
3. REPATRIATION OF MONIES FROM SOUTH AFRICA
Any monies brought into South Africa by a non-South African may be repatriated at any time. Any profit made can also be repatriated after the capital gains tax payable in respect of the same and other taxes due and payable have been paid. After 5 years from the date of the signature of an immigrant’s declaration and undertaking, an immigrant will no longer be able to repatriate the monies on this basis and will then be subject to the same exchange control restrictions as are imposed upon the residents of South Africa.