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What is an address in South Africa?

By August 29, 2019January 23rd, 2023FinGlobal

What is an address in South Africa?

August 29, 2019


If you have relatives in South Africa and want to send them a letter or a parcel, it is important you know their address. All addresses in South Africa contain a postcode, which is one of the most important parts of the address according to the South African National Standard for South African addresses.

Why South African addresses are important

In some countries, people have different residential addresses and different postal addresses. However in South Africa, unless you have a separate Post Office Box where you receive all your mail and parcels, your residential address is your delivery address. This address is used to facilitate the delivery of anything from letters, to utility bills to courier parcel deliveries and other services. If you are to receive anything at your home in South Africa, it is important your address conforms to the South African National Standard for South African addresses.

Addresses and living your daily life

Addresses are not just critical for services and deliveries, they are also critical for other important activities including opening a bank account, buying on credit as demanded by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) and even obtaining an identity document or passport. Without an address it is difficult to do anything including obtaining a job. The importance of an address is highlighted in the sad story of Kabelo Thibedi, who held hostage an employee of the Department of Home Affairs in Johannesburg on 30 November 2005, because he’d been waiting for two years for his Identity Document to be delivered to his home address – without which, he was unable to get a job.

The importance of a postcode

In South Africa, different areas have different postcodes. All South African postal codes have four digits. For example Pretoria/Tshwane is 0001 / 0002, Johannesburg is 2000 / 2001, Port Elizabeth is 6000 / 6001 and Cape Town is 8000 / 8001. A postcode makes it a lot easier for anyone to pinpoint your exact address – which naturally makes it easier for you to receive any services or deliveries.  Service deliveries could include anything from water, sewerage, telecommunications, electricity and refuse collection.

How do you write a South African street address?

  1. Write the name of the recipient on the first line
  2. Write the street address, including the street number or flat number
  3. Write the suburb
  4. Write the province
  5. Write the postcode
  6. If you are sending from abroad: Write South Africa
Mr. J. Public
234 Church Street

The South African street address is the most common form of address in South Africa, followed by the P.O. Box address which is written in the following manner:

  1. O. Box Number
  2. Area
  3. Postal code
  4. South Africa
P.O. Box 2947
South Africa

If you are a South African living abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today for your free and no obligation consultation and quote.

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