General

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Letter of invitation

The congress organization will be pleased to send a formal letter of invitation to delegates requesting an invitation letter for visa purposes once payment of registration fees has been made. It is understood that such an invitation is intended to help potential delegates to raise funds or to obtain a visa. This does not imply a commitment from the congress to provide any financial support. Letters of invitation may be requested from the congress secretariat no later than 23 June 2017. The letter link will be sent via email.

VISA

New requirements for South African Visas
South Africa has introduced new regulations requiring travellers to the country who need to obtain a visa to submit in-person biometric data, at an approved South African visa centre in their country of origin, to support the application. Collection of processed applications will be from where the application was submitted. Original passport will be required as applicant’s proof of identity and handing over of the visa label or refusal letter to applicants. Representative must provide an original Photo ID, an Authority Letter as well as the applicant’s original passport if collecting the decision on behalf of the applicant/s.
http://www.vfsglobal.com/dha/southafrica/Biometric_Data_Collection.html

In addition regulations were introduced to prevent child trafficking and thus all minors require the consent of their parents when traveling into or out of the Republic.
http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/statements-speeches/621-advisory-new-requirements-for-children-travelling-through-south-african-ports-of-entry-effective-1-june-2015

Visitors’ visas are required from some international travellers permanently resident outside South Africa who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for a period of 90 days or less for a specific purpose.
http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/apply-for-a-south-african-visa

  • There is a fee charged for issuing a visa, and you should check the cost as this is updated annually. 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. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country.

A list of countries where the residents do not require a visa to enter South Africa or where visitors will be subject to specific conditions concerning the duration of their visit can be found here:
http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries

Insurance

Please notice that the congress fee does not include insurance. All participants should arrange for their own insurance. Health and accident insurance is recommended and would need to be purchased in the country of origin.

Language

While French and German are becoming increasingly common with immigration from Europe as well as West and Central Africa, the business language of Cape Town and the Western Cape is English.

Climate

A moderate Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall.

Value for money

The destination is recognised internationally as one of the most affordable business tourism and incentive travel destinations in the world.

Currency

  • Foreign currency can be exchanged at commercial banks and at various Bureaux de Change.
  • The Rand is the official currency in South Africa.
  • Banks are open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday banks typically open between 9am and 3pm; on Saturday opening hours are between 9am and 11am

Tax

  • Majority of goods sold in South Africa is subject to a 14% Value Added Tax (VAT). Tourists are not exempt from paying VAT. However, they can claim back the VAT portion if the value of the goods bought exceeds a certain amount – currently, R250.
  • To claim the VAT, the goods must be taken out of the country within 90 days from the date of purchase. The goods must be presented for inspection on departure and accompanied with a tax invoice. The invoice should contain the usual information (name of the seller, seller’s VAT registration number, description of goods, the price and the VAT amount). If the value of the goods on any single invoice exceed a certain amount (currently R2000), the buyer’s name and address should also appear on the invoice or on the credit card payment slip.
  • Visitors who wish to claim VAT should go to the VAT refund administration office or customs official at the port of exit. If a tourist leaves South Africa without claiming a VAT refund, it is still possible to do it, but the procedure is more involved. Such a claim must be lodged within three months from the date of export.
  • There is no VAT exemption on eating, drinking, or going out in South Africa; goods consumed or services rendered in the country do not qualify for VAT refunds.

Internet & wireless connectivity

South Africa offers an internet network and Wireless (Wi-Fi) is readily available throughout the city. Most of the hotels will offer Wi-Fi connectivity.

Mobile phones

A variety of mobile networks are available in South Africa and local Sim cards are available at airports and major shopping centres.

Electric current

  • 240 volts AC
  • For small appliances, a plug adaptor may be needed for three pin sockets.

Measurements

  • Distances are measured in kilometres and metres
  • Temperature is indicated in centigrade (Celsius)
  • Kilograms and grams are used to indicate weight

Driving

  • An international driver’s licence is required when driving around South Africa.
  • Driving is on the left and speed limits are in kilometres.

Water

  • The region’s superior water supply infrastructure guarantees some of the best water in the world
  • Spring water is available bottled

Time

  • South African Time is set at GMT +2.
  • There are no time zone differences within South Africa and there is no daylight saving system in summer.

Shopping hours

Monday to Sunday typically open between 9am – 5.30pm, although the V&A Waterfront and Canal Walk shopping centers are open until 9pm.

A centre for knowledge

  • Cape Town and the Western Cape is an intellectual magnet, with four world-class universities and other research institutions in fields as diverse as astronomy, science, medicine and social politics.
  • It is also the legislative capital of South Africa.
  • The destination is fertile ground for intellectual dialogue and the exchange of ideas.
  • Investment in technology and IT sectors are establishing Cape Town as the centre of Africa’s development in these fields.