South Africa

Overview

Last reviewed - 30 June 2020

South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 and transitioned to a constitutional democracy in 1994, is a middle-income, emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources such as gold, platinum, and diamonds. It has well-developed financial, legal, communications, energy, and transport sectors. As of March 2019, South Africa's stock exchange was the 16th largest in the world and the largest in Africa by market capitalisation. Its currency is the rand (ZAR). South Africa has 11 official languages, including English, and three capitals: Pretoria (administrative), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative).

South Africa has a modern infrastructure supporting an efficient distribution of goods to major urban centres throughout the region.

Following a substantial slowdown in economic growth resulting from the global financial crisis of 2007/08 (South Africa experienced negative growth of nearly 2% in 2009), the South African economy experienced a muted recovery, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth peaking at 2.2% in 2013. Subsequent to 2013, growth again slowed (with GDP growth of only 1.5%, 1.3%, and 0.3% in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively). Although there was a modest improvement in domestic growth to 1.3% in 2017, growth for 2018 and 2019 was again subdued at 0.8% and 0.2% respectively. In March 2020, the South African Reserve Bank (or the 'SARB', South Africa’s central bank) forecast growth for 2020 of 0.2%. This forecast has, however, been revised downwards larely due to the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, to a contraction of -7%. The SARB has, however, forecast a rebound in growth of 3.8% ad 2.9% in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the SARB has a targeted inflation band of 3% to 6%. In October 2019, the year-on-year inflation rate (as measured by the consumer price index [CPI] for all urban areas) measured 3.7%. As of May 2020, the SARB expected inflation to remain within the inflation target range of 3% to 6%, averaging 3.4% in 2020, and 4.4% in 2021 and 2022.

PwC South Africa provides in-depth industry experience in a wide spectrum of market sectors, including the following:

  • Automotive.
  • Banking and capital markets.
  • Chemicals.
  • Energy, utilities, and mining.
  • Engineering and construction.
  • Entertainment and media.
  • Financial services.
  • Forest, paper, and packaging.
  • Government and public services.
  • Healthcare.
  • Hospitality and leisure.
  • Industrial manufacturing.
  • Insurance.
  • Metals.
  • Pharmaceuticals.
  • Retail and consumer.
  • Technology.
  • Telecommunications.
  • Transportation and logistics.
  • Mining.

PwC South Africa's experienced team of advisers can assist with managing tax risk and controlling and minimising the tax burden by providing innovative and practical tax and business solutions in the areas of corporate, international, and indirect taxes; mergers and acquisitions; compliance; transfer pricing; and human resource services.

In addition, PwC South Africa has an Africa Tax Desk, which, amongst other services, provides the following assistance:

  • The provision of quick responses to preliminary and generic questions that companies would like answered when considering investment in Africa.
  • The facilitation of investments and business operations by providing access to the right contacts for tax (and legal) advisory services to investors in Africa.
  • Coordination between companies investing into Africa and respective PwC offices in other countries.

Quick rates and dates

Corporate income tax (CIT) rates
Headline CIT rate (%)

28

Corporate income tax (CIT) due dates
CIT return due date

Within one year from the end of the company’s tax year.

CIT final payment due date

Within six months after the end of the company's tax year.

CIT estimated payment due dates

Advance payment is to be made twice a year, first during the first six months of the company's tax year and second before the end of the year.

Personal income tax (PIT) rates
Headline PIT rate (%)

45

Personal income tax (PIT) due dates
PIT return due date

The date for the filing of returns is fixed each year by government notice.

PIT final payment due date

NP

PIT estimated payment due dates

End of August and end of February.

Value-added tax (VAT) rates
Standard VAT rate (%)

15

Withholding tax (WHT) rates
WHT rates (%) (Div/Int/Roy)

Resident: 20 / 0 / 0;

Non-resident: 20 / 15 / 15

Capital gains tax (CGT) rates
Corporate capital gains tax rate (%)

22.4

Individual capital gains tax rate (%)

18

Net wealth/worth tax rates
Headline net wealth/worth tax rate (%)

NA

Inheritance and gift tax rates
Inheritance tax rate (%)

25

Gift tax rate (%)

25

NA stands for Not Applicable (i.e. the territory does not have the indicated tax or requirement)

NP stands for Not Provided (i.e. the information is not currently provided in this chart)

All information in this chart is up to date as of the 'Last reviewed' date on the corresponding territory Overview page. This chart has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this chart without obtaining specific professional advice. No representation or warranty (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this chart, and, to the extent permitted by law, PwC does not accept or assume any liability, responsibility or duty of care for any consequences of you or anyone else acting, or refraining to act, in reliance on the information contained in this chart or for any decision based on it.