Life's a beach for SA investors in Mauritius

There has been a surge in property acquisitions by South Africans in Mauritius over the past few years - and over the past 12 months in particular, according to Richard Haller, director for Pam Golding Properties Mauritius.

There is already a large South African expat community on the island.   

Haller says Mauritius is proving a destination of choice for South African property investors seeking to diversify their investment portfolios, as well as buyers looking to acquire residency for themselves or their immediate family.

He believes Mauritius offers strong offshore investment opportunities in hard currency, as well as a secure lifestyle, within a burgeoning economy with a stable government, world-class international schools and a growing tourism market.

Property investments are priced from $290 000 (about R4.2m) and with purchases over $500 000 (about R7.3m) you can acquire permanent residency for yourself and your family.

Capital growth

Haller says capital growth on investment is a key drawcard for property buyers, together with sound rental returns.

Furthermore, with more and more companies setting up business in Mauritius, from as far afield as India, China and countries in Asia, Europe and America, over and above South Africa, the island has experienced a boom in commercial real estate activity.

This increased demand is resulting in the development of many new office, industrial and warehouse buildings.

While tourism continues to account for more than 25% of the gross domestic product (GDP), Mauritius is making a major play to establish itself as a regional and global finance destination, including banking and business outsourcing.

This is according to Vidish Jugurnauth, an administration manager at Sovereign Trust in Mauritius. He explains that there are numerous channels open to foreign nationals looking to work, live and acquire property in Mauritius.

The financial services sector now represents more than 10% of GDP, and Mauritius was rated number one for Ease of Doing Business in Africa by the World Bank in 2018.

Tax matters

Corporation tax is a flat 15%, but companies carrying out global business can pay 3% tax or even zero tax under certain circumstances. There is no capital gains tax or tax on profits on the sale of shares in Mauritius.
 
Rone Silke, a consultant at Sovereign Trust in SA, cautions that it is vital for businesses looking to establish themselves in Mauritius to ensure that their company and trust structuring is done correctly from a South African tax perspective.
 
"The fact that a company has been incorporated in a foreign jurisdiction, doesn't mean that it will not be subject to tax in SA....Should a Mauritian company's commercial decisions be made in SA, the company would be regarded as a SA tax resident," says Silke.

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