Financial Surveillance

The Financial Surveillance Department has progressively modernised its capital flows and investment framework over the past decades to benefit from global integration while safeguarding domestic interests.


The Minister of Finance has delegated National Treasury’s powers, functions and duties assigned under the Exchange Control Regulations (with certain exceptions) to the Governor and/or a Deputy Governor of the SARB, the Head of the Financial Surveillance Department and other officials in the department. This means that the SARB is responsible for the daily administration of exchange controls in South Africa. 

These powers include appointing certain registered banks to act as Authorised Dealers in foreign exchange and appointing Authorised Dealers in foreign exchange with limited authority (ADLAs). Appointment gives these banks and ADLAs the right to buy and sell foreign exchange, subject to conditions and within limits prescribed by the Financial Surveillance Department. Authorised Dealers and ADLAs are not agents for the Financial Surveillance Department, but act on behalf of their customers.

In the 2020 Budget Speech, the Minister of Finance announced that a new capital flow management framework will be introduced. Under this framework all cross-border transactions will be allowed except for those that are subject to the capital flow management measures and/or pose a high risk of illegitimate cross-border financial flows. Furthermore, red tape on legitimate flows will be reduced while more robust measures will be introduced to detect, deter and disrupt illegitimate cross-border financial flows. New capital flow management regulations will be drafted to effect this framework.

In the interim, the existing exchange control system will remain.

Financial Surveillance Department - Foreign Exchange Tutorial

How to report unlawful or suspicious foreign exchange activity
Click on ‘More’ and scroll down to this FAQ under Financial Surveillance.