I believe we are conflating two different issues. The first is in what year did you get the 4457 actually filled out and approved. I have never had a problem and traveled last year with a 4457 filled out and signed years earlier. The second is the "expiration date" on the form which as correctly stated, the SA gov't takes as an expiration of the ownership or validity of the form. All of my 4457's have no expiration date, I use Adobe to white it out. If it is not there they can not and have not ever questioned it in three trips. If you are worried at all, use rifle permits and send the information over early to them. They will let you know if there is a problem prior to leaving for Africa and you can resolve it.