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South African Reserve Bank

Financial surveillance and exchange controls 

The Bank is responsible, on behalf of the Minister of Finance, for the day-to-day administration of exchange controls in South Africa. Exchange Control Regulations are the legal provisions that limit the extent to which South African residents and companies may transfer funds abroad. 

The Minister of Finance has, therefore, delegated to the Governor and/or a Deputy Governor, as well as to the Head of the Financial Surveillance Department (and to other officials in the department), all the powers, functions and duties assigned to and imposed on the Treasury under the Exchange Control Regulations (with certain exceptions).

The Bank's Financial Surveillance Department is, accordingly, responsible for the day-to-day administration of exchange controls.

The Minister of Finance has also appointed certain banks to act as Authorised Dealers in foreign exchange. This appointment gives these banks the right to buy and sell foreign exchange, subject to conditions and within limits prescribed by the Financial Surveillance Department. Authorised Dealers are not agents for the Financial Surveillance Department, but act on behalf of their customers.

The policy is determined by the Minister of Finance and the Bank, therefore, merely acts as an adviser to the Minister of Finance and as an implementer of exchange control policy decisions.

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