September 05, 2023


Understanding Foreign Loans for South African entities or individuals

Understanding Foreign Loans for South African entities or individuals


Foreign loans can be a valuable source of finance for South African entities. However, it’s essential to navigate the intricacies of exchange control regulations and understand the risks and benefits involved. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of Inward Foreign loans from a non-resident to a South African resident. We will also outline the requirements and restrictions for obtaining a foreign loan through Currency Partners.

Inward Foreign Loans – Regulation and Structuring

In South Africa, foreign loans made by non-residents to residents are subject to exchange control regulations. All inward foreign loans from a non-resident are required to be placed on record with the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). These loans can be structured in various ways, such as in South African rands or foreign currency, and they can be secured or unsecured.

It’s important to note that foreign loan funds cannot be sent to a foreign currency account, the funds must be converted before being credited to the local entity or individual. While the interest rate is typically set by the lender, certain restrictions on the maximum interest rate is set by the SARB which applies to specific types of foreign loans.

Benefits and risks of Foreign Loans for South African entities or individuals

Foreign loans offer several benefits to borrowers, including access to foreign capital, lower interest rates compared to domestic lenders, and longer repayment terms. When a loan is placed on record with the SARB for a South African resident individual, the repayment of the loan does not get recorded against the individual’s Single Discretionary Allowance.  However, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved. For example, currency risk arises from fluctuations in the exchange rate between the rand and the loan’s currency, potentially affecting the repayment amount.

How Currency Partners assists with Inward Foreign Loans

Currency Partners can assist with the South African Reserve Bank application process for inward foreign loans. The application requires the client to complete a foreign loan application form and provide supporting documents such as the loan agreement.

The turnaround time for the SARB application is typically 4 to 6 weeks and, once approved, it is valid for 12 months from date of issue.

Currency Partners guides our clients through the restrictions, rulings, and application process to ensure that the client is abiding by the SARB exchange control regulation.

Navigating the regulatory landscape and understanding the associated risks and benefits is crucial. By carefully considering the requirements and restrictions, borrowers can make informed decisions and leverage foreign loans to achieve their financial goals.

For more information on Inward Foreign Loans, please contact our specialist team at or call +27 21 203 0081 or register here. Our team of experts is ready to assist you.

We look forward to partnering with you and saving you time and money.