South African Customs regulations afford visitors to the country the opportunity to bring in certain goods without incurring duties and value added tax (VAT). These are limited in quantity and value. On arrival, you can take the green ‘nothing to declare' channel if you stick to these allowances:
Other new or used goods not exceeding R3 000 (Additional goods, new or used, exceeding R12 000 will incur a duty charge of 20%)
Wine not exceeding 2 litres per person over the age of 18
Spirits and alcohol not exceeding l litre per person over the age of 18
Cigarettes not exceeding 200 and cigars not exceeding 20 per person over the age of 18
250g cigarette tobacco or pipe tobacco per person over the age of 18
Perfumery not exceeding 50ml and toilet water not exceeding 250ml per person
But, if you have goods in excess of these allowances, take the red channel and declare your items, where you will be billed at the applicable rates by representatives of South African Customs. Note also, that if you are importing for business and commercial intent, you will also not qualify for these allowances, other than personal effects.
Customs in South Africa further stipulates that when you leave the country you are permitted to take up to R500 in South African Reserve Bank notes. A 20% levy is charged on higher amounts.
Easy Customs Walk-thru (entry)