Shutting down your life in South Africa

Posted on: January 15th, 2013 by admin

life in South Africa

Shutting down your life in South Africa is a mammoth task and it is very easy to forget something. We have compiled a checklist for you with the most common things you will need to do before you leave.
As you work through the list it will help you remember about other things you need to do. Add them to the list immediately.

Then go through your post from the past 3 months. This will also help you discover the other items that are not on our list.

Preparing for the big move


Get valuations
Find Agent
Place on Market
Arrange alternate accommodation for when the house is sold

House Contents

Get quotes for container
Pack loose items in boxes by room, mark accordingly
Stick a full list of items that are are in each box onto the box
Check the MAF (Biosecurity) site to see what NOT to take (Click HERE)
Take expensive items like antique furniture and paintings that form part of the heirloom
Arrange to sell / donate / give away any unwanted items
If you are taking your electrical appliances with, buy some multi-adapters in SA to take with as Kiwi plugs are expensive


Arrange to sell
Ensure the licenses, fines, etc. are up to date.
Arrange alternative transport for when the cars are sold



Flight tickets
Enough medicines for three months (all medicine must have a prescription)

Accommodation in NZ

Find suitable accommodation for first month
Pay deposit / full fee

Paper work to take with

Birth Certificates
Marriage Certificate
Qualifications & Translations
South African ID Books
Address book of all your contacts in SA
Inoculation Records
Letter from insurances (car, house, etc.) stating period insured & claims history
Reference letters from anyone you may have rented a house lately
Medical records
Dental Records


Increase the daily withdrawal limits on your accounts to maximum
Set up Internet Banking for all accounts in SA if you are not officially immigrating.
Give a trusted person a power of attorney letter to act of your behalf
Arrange a payment method for any accounts / policies you are keeping open in SA
Give a trusted person access to an account into which you have deposited money to pay any accounts that may still have outstanding balanced due after you have left.
Pay up and close all accounts like Edgars, Water & Lights, etc.
Cash in any policies, Unit Trusts, and other investments that you need to
Change forwarding Addresses of all post to a trusted person
Open a NZ Bank account (ASB Bank opens while still in SA)
Get Tax Clearances for each tax payer in the household
Have your quota (up to R2 Million per taxpayer) transferred to NZ


Take lots of photos, including the bad things (they will remind you later why you left)
Arrange a farewell party
Arrange transport to the airport
Make a list of everything you have with you on the plane to speed up customs clearance

 Shutting down your Life in South Africa

This is a very emotional, and stressful time. The excitement of your PR being granted will quickly be replaced by the realization that this is not just a plan or idea anymore, this is happening for real. This is when panic and second thoughts can quickly take over so it is very important to maintain your focus. Keep your list of reasons why you are leaving South Africa and your list of reasons why you have chosen New Zealand close at hand to remind yourself why you are doing this. Try to focus less on the emotions of shutting down and focus more on the excitement of starting up again in New Zealand.

Whether you are bringing a container or not, you will invariably find yourself doing a big clean up at the house. Deciding what to bring and what can be sold / dumped. When going through this process always remember that the houses in New Zealand tend to be smaller than in South Africa. In fact, I don’t know a South African that brought a container over, that doesn’t still have unopened boxes in their garage! Ask yourself : “Do I need this?” and answer it truthfully. Chances are if you have not used the item in the last 12 months, you don’t need it. Obviously if you do have space in the container, then you can still bring it with. If you find you didn’t need it after all, then you can always donate it to the Hospice or Salvation Army.

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