South Africa is GMT+2 (2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time).
Example: 12:00 midday in South Africa, is:
06:00 am in New York, USA
11:00 am in London, UK
12:00 midday in Paris, France
08:00 pm in Sydney, Australia
A 10% gratuity on the bill generally applies in restaurants and is normally at the discretion of the diner and dependent on the standard of service experienced. Restaurants usually do not include the tip in the bill unless the booking is for 10 or more people.
The electricity supply in South Africa is 220/230 volts AC 50Hz. Appliances of lesser voltage require a transformer (especially those with a heating element such as hairdryers). Adapters are obtainable locally and in most cases available from your hotel concierge. Most hotel rooms have 110-volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.
South African tap water is generally safe to drink and quite palatable. Bottled water is also available from room service, restaurants and at retail outlets.
Delegates are advised to take the usual safety precautions. Do not walk alone in quiet streets after dark. Use a taxi at night and only those from a reputable taxi company. Check with your hotel concierge as to the safety of a specific area should you be unsure. Do not to attract attention by displaying expensive items such as cameras and expensive watches and jewelry when sightseeing. Make use of the hotel safety deposit box or your room safe to safeguard valuables and passports.
Smoking is prohibited by law in public areas throughout South Africa, including airports, shopping malls and restaurants. Most public spaces have specially designated smoking areas.
The monetary unit is the South African Rand (ZAR)
The international symbol is R. R1 = 100 cents.
Currency is issued in denominations of notes of R200, R100, R50, R20, R10 and coins. Please visit www.xe.com to convert your local currency.
Value added tax (VAT) is included in the price of most goods and services. Visitors are required to pay VAT on purchased goods. VAT refunds may be claimed at airports, harbors and custom offices on items taken out of the country when the total value exceeds R250.00. Customs officials will ask to see the items as well as their purchase slips when applying for a refund.
Mobile phones with a local South African sim card & number can be rented at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport and returned upon departure.
Immediate application for Visas is essential. Delays with the issuing of Visas are currently being experienced.