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South Africa: Clarification of the Current Regulations for Cruisers

By Val Ellis — last modified Apr 27, 2014 10:19 AM
Contributors: John Spilhaus
The rules for yachts visiting South Africa seem to be constantly changing, but below is the latest information as provided by John Spilhaus, manager of Simon’s Town Marina, near Cape Town.

Published: 2014-04-26 23:00:00
Countries: South Africa

Length of Stay for Yachts

The rule that non-commercial yachts are permitted to stay in South Africa for 12 months, is not always applied correctly and several yachts were fined for staying longer than 6 months. However,  the South African Revenue Services (SARS) ruled in September 2013 that the fines imposed will be repaid.

John Spilhaus advises us that, in practice, yachts can now only stay for 6 months.

Visa Extensions

John also advises that, in practice, extensions to visa beyond the initial 90 days granted to most visitors on arrival, are no longer normally granted. Obtaining a multi-entry visa for the length of your proposed stay from a South African embassy before arrival is the best option. This will allow the freedom to leave the country and return again if necessary.

A list of South African embassies can be found at http://za.embassyinformation.com

Arrival/Departure Clearance

It is now being enforced that this can only be done at an Official Port of Entry.

In the case of Cape Town, this is the Royal Cape Yacht Club Marina only.

It is no longer permitted to, for example, to moor at Simon’s Town and then travel into Cape Town to visit the Authorities.

The marina operations in and around Cape Town are attempting to improve things for cruisers, but no-one is expecting anything to be changed in the near future, so be prepared!

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