Voluntary sequestration is an effective means to get rid of your debt. It affords you the opportunity to start fresh and live using cash rather than depending on credit. Once the relevant period has lapsed and conditions have been met, you can apply for rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation after sequestration is automatic if a period of ten years has lapsed since the date of sequestration, and you have not, in the meanwhile, applied for rehabilitation after sequestration. You do not have to wait for the ten-year period to expire. The general time before you can apply for rehabilitation is four years after you have been sequestrated, but various factors are considered, and you can even apply sooner if certain requirements are met.


Your insolvency attorneys submit the application on your behalf to the High Court that has jurisdiction in the area where you stay. A provisional rehabilitation order is in place, and the matter is postponed for 30 days to a return date when the order is made final. If creditors oppose the application, the matter can take longer or the Court may decide to not award rehabilitation at that point.

The insolvency attorneys draft the affidavit, which you need to sign. The attorneys then submit the required documents to the Court, and a case number and hearing date are set. You do not have to personally appear in Court since your application is made by means of the affidavit.


It ends the sequestration, and your ITC record reflects that you are no longer insolvent. The status is changed to rehabilitated, and it stays such on your ITC record for a period of five years. The rehabilitation discharges all debts, and you do not have to pay any of the debts incurred up to the date when you were sequestrated. However, debts made by you, after the sequestration order was issued, must still be paid. It is essential to avoid making debts after sequestration, as it can affect your ability to become rehabilitated as soon as possible. Note that you must get the written permission of the trustee before you incur any debt while under sequestration, and before you have been rehabilitated.


You can apply for rehabilitation at any time after sequestration if you have enough assets in your solvent estate to ensure that the sale thereof can provide for sufficient funds to pay all the proven claims by creditors in full. You can also do so at any time after sequestration if you can pay each of your creditors a minimum of 50 cents to the Rand.

It is also possible to do so six months after sequestration if there were no proven claims against the estate. In another instance, you can do so twelve months after the trustee’s liquidation account has been confirmed by the Master of the High Court, and where the Master recommends the rehabilitation. The general timeframe of four years applies if twelve months have lapsed since the trustee’s liquidation account has been confirmed by the Master of the High Court. It is best to discuss the various periods and requirements with experienced insolvency attorneys, as numerous factors must be taken into consideration regarding eligibility for rehabilitation after sequestration.


The fee and expenditures must be paid in addition to any contributions levied on the insolvent estate. The latter can be the case if there were not sufficient funds in the insolvent estate to pay for all costs related to the sequestration. In this instance, you will also need to pay the contribution made by a creditor or creditors to finalise the winding up of your insolvent estate. Fortunately, you will not be in debt during your sequestration period, giving you enough free funds to save up for the rehabilitation process.


If you wait the full ten years for rehabilitation after sequestration, you will not be in control of your estate for the entire period. You will not be able to hold certain government positions, or be a director of a company. In order to regain full control over your finances and start completely fresh, it is thus important to apply for rehabilitation as soon as possible. Get in touch with our attorneys to help you become rehabilitated.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing.