Depending on the terms of the contract you have signed, and how long you have worked for, you will probably need to pay back all your costs, which can be estimated at approximately R15 000, or a rate pro rata – in other words, the longer you have worked there for, the less you will pay. The terms of your contract should clearly outline all this information. We encourage everyone to accept this agreement with a positive attitude and try and complete at least one year.
You will not be held a ‘prisoner’ if you have not done anything against the law. If you resign, give the correct amount of notice required, pay your costs and purchase an air ticket, they will cancel your visa in your passport and you will be free to leave. You need to be aware that unless an arrangement has been made, you cannot resign from one company and go and work for another, as your present employer is your sponsor and it is his name or the company name on your visa. Visas are only transferable under special circumstances and with the permission of the employer, Immigration or Labour Department. In most cases, if you resign you will have to leave the country and there could be a ban placed on your passport, which means you will not be able to return for at least 6 months.
Please note that if you abscond i.e. run away, it is very likely that you will be blacklisted and will never be allowed into the country again, so you need to consider the long term implications of doing something which may affect the application of visas in your future, even as a tourist.