About South Africa

Time Differences

South Africa operates two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, making it an hour ahead of Central European Winter Time, seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time and seven hours behind Australian Central Time.

Getting There

Cape Town International Airport and O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg are the major gateways for international visiters. Domestic flights from these  two airports connect with Port Elizabeth airport which is 130km from Grahamstown.

Passports and Visas

You may need a visa to visit South Africa.

To find out if you need a visa to visit South Africa, please visit the South African Home affairs website: http://www.dha.gov.za/

For delegates who require visas, the conference organisers will be able to provide a confirmation letter of attendance. This letter will be supplied once the delegate has registered and paid for the conference in full. 

Clothing

This conference will be held during the winter months in South Africa. However, Grahamstown experiences both coastal and inland weather fluctuations. The weather can change quite dramatically during the course of the day. We suggest layering your outfits. Bring warm clothing (hats, scarves and gloves) as well as some lighter clothing as it can get quite warm during the day.  It is much cooler at nights. Note also that buildings in South Africa do not have central heating. One will tend to find it much cooler inside so it is best to wrap up warmly.

Banks and Money

The currency unit is the Rand, denoted by the symbol R, with 100 cents making up R1 (one Rand). Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and Bureaux de Changes. Most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa and their affiliates are widely accepted. Click here for currency converter.

Electricity

The electricity supply in South Africa is 220/230 volts, AC 50 Hz. Please ensure that you bring the correct converter for your electrical equipment.

Tax

Value-added-tax (VAT) is charged on most items. Foreign tourists to South Africa can have their 14% VAT refunded provided that the value of the items purchased exceeds R250.00. VAT is refunded at the point of departure provided receipts are produced.

Disabled Travelers

Should you have any special requirements please email the conference organisers and we will do our best to ensure that you have the most comfortable stay possible.

Health and Safety

Many foreigners are unaware that South Africa has a well-developed infrastructure, high standards of water treatment and medical facilities equal to the best in the world. Here we address any health and safety questions you may have. Hospitals and Medical Care In a great many medical disciplines, South Africa is a global leader. In fact, South African trained doctors are sought after all over the world, so this should give an indication of the standard of medical care available. There is a large network of public and private hospitals countrywide, offering excellent service. However, clients must have adequate health insurance to cover the fees private hospitals charge.

Malaria

Malaria is found only in the far north-east of the country. Rhodes University, located in the Eastern Cape (south east of the country), is a malaria-free area.

Personal Safety

For tourists, South Africa is as safe as any other destination in the world. South Africa boasts a vast array of cultures, communities, sites and attractions. Most parts of the country can be safely visited by tourists provided they take basic common-sense precautions (for example not walking alone in deserted areas at night and being circumspect about how much photographic equipment or flashy jewellery you carry).

Drinking Water

In Grahamstown it is best to drink bottled water rather than water direct from the taps.

Road Safety

South Africa has strict drinking and driving laws - with a maximum allowable alcohol blood content of 0.05%. Translated that means about one glass of wine for the average woman and perhaps 1.5 or two for the average or large man. Our speed limits are 120kmph on the open road, 100kmph on smaller roads and between 60 and 80kmph in towns.

Driving

All visitors intending to drive are required to obtain an international drivers permit, visitors found driving without a permit will be fined and not permitted to continue on their journey. Visitors will also not be able to rent a car without a valid driver's permit. The wearing of seatbelts is compulsory and strictly enforced by law. Speaking on mobile phones whilst driving is only allowed via a hands-free kit. South Africans drive on the left hand side of the road.

Vaccinations

Visitors who are entering South Africa from a yellow fever zone must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate. Only infants under the age of one year are exempt. Immunisation against cholera and small pox are not required and no other vaccinations are required when visiting South Africa.

Liability

The Conference Organisers have taken all reasonable care in making arrangements for the Conference. In the event of unforeseen disruptions, the Conference Organisers cannot be held responsible for any losses incurred by delegates. Delegates should make their own arrangements with respect to personal insurance. The Conference organisers reserve the right to make changes as and when deemed necessary, without prior notice to the parties concerned. All disputes are subject to resolution under South African Law.