General visitor information

General information to consider when visiting South Africa.

Currency
The South African currency is known as the Rand (ZAR), which utilises the decimal system, with one Rand being equal to 100 cents. ATMs are open 24 hours and are located at most banks as well as at the congress venue.

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

Electricity
South Africa’s electricity supply is 220/230 volts; AC 50Hz. Foreign appliances may require an adaptor in order to operate in South Africa.

South African plug

Emergency phone number
In case of emergency (police, ambulance, fire) dial 107.

Food and drink
The region is one of the wine capitals of the world, and the renowned Cape Winelands are both within the city and on its doorstep. The city’s many restaurants serve traditional or contemporary Cape and international cuisine.

Immunisation
Entering South Africa does not require any form of immunisation. However, a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required of travellers entering South Africa within six days of leaving an infected country. Visitors who travel through or disembark in such countries are advised to be inoculated against Yellow Fever prior to visiting South Africa.

Cape Town is a malaria free area. However, certain areas of South Africa have been designated as malaria risk areas. If you plan to combine your congress attendance with travel, before entering these specific areas visitors should consult a doctor or pharmacist to obtain appropriate medication.

Language
Although there are 11 official languages in South Africa, English is the country’s primary language. It is the country’s business language and all signage is displayed in English. The official congress language is English.

Lunches and refreshments
Two tea and coffee breaks (mid-morning and mid-afternoon) are included in your congress registration.  Lunches and refreshments are not included in the registration fees. However, a variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase at concessions in the congress venue.

Medical services
Medical services are of a high standard and most prescription drugs are readily available through retail pharmacies. It is recommended that congress delegates take out personal medical insurance for the duration of their trip.

Security
We wish to assure all delegates that Cape Town is as safe as many other major international cities with good and bad areas. The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) is home to many successful events and the area around it and adjacent hotels are safe and well monitored at all times. Cape Town has also hosted large global events, such as the World Cup in 2010, with enormous success. Common sense will ensure a trouble free and enjoyable congress, although we advise that delegates do not walk alone after dark or in unpopulated streets.

Tap water
Tap water is purified and safe to drink.

Time
South Africa is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), one hour ahead of Central European Winter Time and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time, USA.

Tours
To help you make the most of your trip to Cape Town and South Africa, WCPT is offering a number of tours to add on to your congress experience. Visit the Tours page to see what’s on offer - please note all tours are organised by third parties and are to be booked directly with the tour operators.

VAT/Tax refunds
VAT of 14% is levied on nearly all goods and services. Foreign tourists may claim back VAT paid on items that will be taken out of the country. Original tax invoices, foreign passport, plus all the items on which a refund is claimed, must be presented at the VAT Refund Administration Office or an appointed RSA Customs and Excise Official at the airport on departure, and the total VAT on these items will be refunded.

Visas
For detailed visa information and to download a letter of invitation go the dedicated Visas page on the congress website.

Weather
Cape Town benefits from a typical Mediterranean climate. Although July in Cape Town is winter, temperatures can reach 18C during the day, with cooler evenings and mornings. If you are planning on extending your stay to include a safari (sightings of animals are often better during the winter months), you will find temperatures increase as you head north with 25C experienced in the Kruger, although the nights are much cooler.