No cash please
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  • SANParks plans to start refusing cash at some of its parks in less than a month.
  • That's quite alright, says the SA Reserve Bank.
  • A business that accepts cash has to accept your cash, but it can refuse to accept cash entirely.
  • "The SARB does not prescribe how businesses should run their operations but would encourage the use of cash in a safe and efficient manner," it tells Business Insider South Africa.
  • For more stories go to

At the start of September, South African National Parks (SANParks) will stop accepting cash payments at the entrances, and inside, some of its parks, a policy to be implemented across every national park during 2023.

And that is quite alright, says the SA Reserve Bank, as custodian of the rules intended to manage the currency.

SanParks announced its roadmap for going cash free – both for the convenience of visitors and for reasons of safety – on Wednesday.

See also | SANParks is about to stop accepting cash to reduce queues – and for safety

That is going to be tricky for the organisation, which is looking at solar power and offline transactions for some of its distant outposts, where electricity or internet connections or both may not be available. It also means those who can't or won't use card or online payments will not have access to national parks.

But the parks are not obliged to accept cash, the Reserve Bank said in answer to questions from Business Insider South Africa.

"There is no concept such as 'a duty to accept cash'. It remains a contractual provision based on offer and acceptance whether to accept payments in cash or not. There is no sanction applicable at law."

Cash as legal tender means a business can not turn up its nose at your cash specifically, said the Bank.

"There is no obligation on businesses (creditors) to accept the tendered payment in the form of banknotes and coin, but the act of tendering such payment in legal tender discharges the debt if cash payments are accepted by the business (creditor)."

But at the same time, "SANParks is entitled to decide what it will accept as means of payment based on its risk and business model. This is a normal principle in commerce."

The Reserve Bank pointed out that the SANParks decision was "not a reflection on the South African currency, but rather an evaluation by SANParks of the risk of holding large amounts of cash on their premises, as well as other business considerations.

"The SARB does not prescribe how businesses should run their operations but would encourage the use of cash in a safe and efficient manner."

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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