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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
Photo by George Guille, It's going to be a long 300km... Bolivian Amazon

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by George Guille
It's going to be a long 300km...
Bolivian Amazon



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  #1  
Old 9 Feb 2015
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Foreigner's guide to purchasing a motorcycle in south africa (johannesburg)

Hi guys

This information is based on my own experience and was gathered during August 2014. It is best intended for tourists/foreigners looking to buy a motorcycle in Johannesburg.

I went through this process in order to buy a bike for travelling around Africa.

3 Files are attached.
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  #2  
Old 11 Feb 2015
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Buying bike in SA

This info is great, just what we have been trying to sort out. Hope to head down there late this year. All we need is a friend in South Africa! Any takers?
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  #3  
Old 20 Feb 2015
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Thanks for posting this!

I am heading out to South Africa in less than a month and will be buying a Toyota Hilux from a private owner and the registration issue is causing me a headache. I just have this question: I understand that eventually you just printed the lease and invoice for your accommodation and filled in the details but how did you get a signature of the owner (on the lease) and the cashier (on the invoice)? Did you just ask the people at the hostel to sign it? Did you actually have to pay the 25k Rand or did you tell them it's for the purpose of registering the bike?

How did other people actually pull it off in Johannesburg? Has anyone had a friend actually write a letter that the foreigner actually stays with them perhaps?
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  #4  
Old 21 Feb 2015
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Seems to me a good motorcycle dealer may be able to apply for and receive all the required paperwork, forms and do all the work for you. You just supply him your ID, Passport, et al, you get legal bike registration and ride away.

Possible?

Usually dealers know these systems well, know all the staff at govt. offices and all the "shortcuts" to make it quicker and easier. You supply the money, dealer gets it done.

What about buying used bike from private party? I guess you just leave the registration in owners name, get permiso from
Police and go? But how would you sell it off again?
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  #5  
Old 23 Feb 2015
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Hi Vanshar

To answer your question - i signed all the documents myself - i didnt ask for assistance from anyone at the hostel as they were very unwilling to help . And no i did not pay the 25K rand .
(The documents were created to satisfy the requirement for the application of the TRN. When i handed them in the supervisor didn't spend more than 2 seconds looking at them before confirming. They are interested in the Visa/Stamp issue .

I've heard of a few other people that also went through this tiring process and eventually after 3 weeks they were able to hit the road. I do not know how they made it happen but im guessing it was similar to my way.

Because you are buying from a private owner im not sure how you'll be able to present them (traffic dep.) with a proof of payment for the vehicle ( I bought from a dealership so they just printed one out for me )- but thats something you can ask them when you're there .

Regarding what Mollydog said - its true that the dealers know the system very well and they will do all the work for you, but you have to have a local Traffic Registry Number (TRN). They cannot sell you a vehicle if you do not have one. I met with quite a few dealers and they all confirmed that. They are very willing to help but are usually quite limited with what they can do for foreigners.
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Old 23 Feb 2015
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Thank you very much for this clarification Ido! The guide is extremely helpful for me and i will happily buy you a pint if we happen to be in Joburg at the end of March.
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Old 10 Mar 2015
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Vanshar - how'd it go?

I ask as several people have found it impossible to register a vehicle in their own names. They were on tourist visas but now the TRN regs require a work or students permit. In order to pass it on I would be interested in when and where you got it done. Thanks,

enzo
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  #8  
Old 21 Mar 2015
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Bundubasher - i've just arrived in Joburg and intend to follow Ido's instructions. I will let you know how it goes on Wednesday (or Friday). In the meantime i also found this: Foreigner want to purchase a car- info needed - 4x4 Community Forum.

My guess is that it is highly dependent on the office/people you'll deal with and even if there are new regulations they may not realize that yet(!). Anyway - watch this space!
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Old 21 Mar 2015
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Oh and there is another fresh thread here: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
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Old 21 Mar 2015
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The chap I was dealing with tried numerous different offices, printed out the web advice etc but no joy. He called eNaTIS and according to them it seems the existing government webpages concerning the TRN are outdated. Good luck with finding someone who can help and I'd love to hear your updated information.

Some info here:
http://www.africa4x4cafe.com/htm/afr...cafe_faq.htm#T

And this is the letter the guy was shown by the registration officer:
http://www.africa4x4cafe.com/docs/trn.jpg

PS: Sorry! I forgot to say he was buying a 4x4 not a bike! I hope this makes the difference you are looking for! Go well, enzo
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Old 21 Mar 2015
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Do you know when and _where_ (which traffic offices) your friend was applying at for TRN?
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  #12  
Old 21 Mar 2015
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I've asked the guy and will post when he gets back to me...
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Old 27 Mar 2015
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Enzo!

I am pleased to report that i got my TRN today in the morning!!!

I went to the Randburg traffic department three times. First was on Tuesday to make sure that i had all the required paperwork (as per Ido’s suggestion). My situation was as follows:

- a turist visa for 30 days (!) but with a visa sticker (i’m a Polish citizen and that’s all that we get) apart from the sticker i also got a stamp and it clearly says ‘hollidays'

- a signed lease and an invoice for 6 months accommodation prepared just as Ido suggested (but i used different forms and addresses - i have a friend around here whose number i placed on the lease in case they’d want to call and verify - the friend had otherwise nothing to do with the lease)

- an agreement of vehicle sale that the seller and myself signed (http://www.cooperattorneys.co.za/Veh...%20vehicle.pdf - first thing off of google) - i’m buying not from a dealer but from a private seller (EDIT: i'm buying a Toyota Hilux 4x4 just to be clear)

- a police affidavit stating that i was unemployed in South Africa

EDIT: - two black and white photos of course (35x45mm, facing forward on white background)

On Tuesday they directed me to a window on the left and there were three people inside. Two (a man and a woman) were serving two costumers and there was a lady from a backoffice using the photocopier.

I got there at 11:30 and there were 3 people ahead of me. When i got to the window i asked them to verify that i have all necessary paperwork for the TRN. They took the bundle of documents, including my passport and the man when he got to my visa dismissed me out of hand saying that visitors can’t get the TRN. You have to have a resident permit or permanent residence. I protested and i said that i already found the car and that i don’t want to stay in SA. Then the lady serving another costumer turned around and said that not long ago they actually gave the TRN to a tourist (Ido - perhaps it was you ;P ). The lady from the backoffice asked where i was going to go with the car and seemed to be satisfied when i said all the way to Europe.

She looked at the paperwork asked for a lease and the invoice - verified that it was from Randburg and asked whether it was less than 3 months old. Then asked for a proof of payment for the car and said the agreement with the seller wasn’t enough and told me to bring the registration certificate of the car tomorrow.

I left the office and met the seller that day, explained my situation and he gave me the registration certificate (we haven’t exchanged the money yet - he was very understanding). The next morning i went back (i got stuck in traffic and arrived at 8:20) i stood in the line - there were about 15 people ahead of me but after 30 min i managed to get to the window. There were only two people then - only the skeptical guy from the day before and a new lady. He had no objections this time but they scrutinized each document in great detail (including the lease and the invoice) and made copies of everything (all the above mentioned documents plus the registration certificate - although they were quite puzzled why i brought the affidavit about being unemployed but they copied it anyway). I was then given the bundle of copied documents, asked to go upstairs where i simply gave the documents to another person in another office and he asked me to come back on Friday 7:30-10:00.

I came back today (Friday) at 7:30 and received my beautiful TRN within 10 minutes. I could not be more happy! See the TRN below - and subscribe to my facebook page

PS: Here's my shameless plug - i will be in SA for the next month and then in May i'm heading north to do Cape To Cairo (to Europe) trip and then in 2016 and 2017 Asia&Australia and Americas respectively. If you want to follow me or get in touch go to:
https://www.facebook.com/trekkingpolecom - there isn't much there yet but over the next few weeks i should be putting in more content.

PPS: Thank you Ido - i owe you a when i meet you!

Foreigner's guide to purchasing a motorcycle in south africa (johannesburg)-trn2.jpg
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  #14  
Old 27 Mar 2015
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Obviously not a straight forward process but your perceverance delivered...congratulations Vanshar and thank you Ido!

Go well,

enzo
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  #15  
Old 29 Mar 2015
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A good news TRN story from a German Client:

Scroll down to the TRN section.
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