General Info & VISAS

VISA Information

Thank you for ensuring prompt Visa applications to enable your travel into our beautiful country.
Invitation Letter

How to obtain an invitation letter for visa application purposes
When completing the on-line delegate registration, kindly indicate your requirement by ticking the appropriate field/ tick box.  Invitation letters will only be issued once registration is complete and payment has been made.  Invitation letters will be emailed.

VISA Application

Kindly the note information provided below is according to the latest information available from the South African Department of Home Affairs and is subject to change without notice.  Applications and enquiries may also be submitted through the Department of Home Affairs VFS Global website. Delegates from African countries must pay specific attention to Yellow Fever vaccination requirements where relevant.

South African visitors’ visas are for international travellers (citizens of other countries) who have permanent residence outside South Africa and who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for a period of 90 days or less.

On entry to South Africa, a visa is considered to be a visitor’s permit. The permit’s period of validity is calculated from the date of entry into the country and will be set out under the heading “conditions” on the visa label. Please ensure applications are submitted for the correct category visa/permit. Entry into the country may be refused if the purpose of visit is not correctly stated.

Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country. All requirements are subject to change without notice.

Note:  As each application is treated as an individual case, enquiries should still be made with your nearest South African mission or consulate abroad to see whether or not you are required to apply for a visa for peace of mind.

A fee/charge is applicable for issuing a visa.  The fee is payable in different currencies in different countries. Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. Should delegates arrive without a necessary visa where such is required, entry to South Africa will be denied.

For applications and more information visit the VFS GLOBAL website by clicking on the link below:

General Information


The monetary unit is the South African Rand (ZAR) and 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 to convert your local currency.

Value Added Tax

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, harbour 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.


Banks are found in most towns and are generally open from 09h00 to 15h30 on weekdays and 08h30 to 11h00 on Saturdays (Closed Sundays and Public Holidays). Most of them offer foreign exchange services - with cash, bank & credit cards as well as travellers cheques. You can also obtain cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs). Several international banks have branches in the main city centres. Always advise your bank that you are travelling outside the country as they might block your purchases if they are not informed.


Spring and Autumn 

In October, the weather in Johannesburg is usually warm. However, there are remarkable differences between night and day. The average temperature is of 18.7 °C (66 °F), with a minimum of 11.4 °C (52.4 °F) and a maximum of 26 °C (78.7 °F).  On the coldest nights, which normally occur at the end of the month, the temperature usually drops to around 5 °C (40.5 °F). On the warmest days, which normally occur at the beginning of the month, the temperature usually reaches around 30.5 °C (87.5 °F).


South Africa is GMT+2 (2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time).
Example: 12h00 midday in South Africa, is:

06h00 in New York, USA
11h00 in London, UK
12h00 midday in Paris, France
20h00 in Sydney, Australia
Tipping / Gratuities

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 completely safe to drink and quite palatable. Bottled water is also available from room service, restaurants and at retail outlets.

Safety / Security

Delegates are advised to take the usual safety precautions. Do not walk alone in quiet streets after dark. Use a taxi/uber at night and only those from a reputable company.  Check with your hotel concierge as to the safety of a specific area should you be unsure.  Do not attract attention by displaying expensive items such as cameras and expensive watches and jewellery 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.