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Banks and Foreign Exchange in South Africa

South Africa's unit of currency is the Rand. Banks, Bureaux de Change and Automatic Tellers are available at the airport. These institutions accept all major credit and debit cards.


South African's pay Value Added Tax (VAT) as it is included in the price of goods and services. Visitors are exempt from paying it, but as a foreign passport holder, you can claim this back on the items purchased if you are taking it out of the country and the value is more than R 250.00. Be sure to request a tax invoice when buying goods in order to do this.

Using your Mobile

South Africa has an extensive GSM Network. You will be able to use your phone as long as it is unlocked and takes a SIM card. Make the necessary arrangements with your service provider before leaving your home country. You will need to activate international roaming.

It is possible to buy or rent a phone and SIM card locally (you might have to produce your passport). These starter kits are cheap and readily available at most kiosks at the airport.

Make sure you bring your charger and if required, an adaptor - South Africa uses C, G and M plug types.

Internet Access

Wi-Fi Access is available at the Hotel and in the Conference Venue. At check-in you will be provided with a voucher with a code to access the service.


Law prohibits smoking in public spaces, including airports. Please make sure to smoke only in demarcated or designated smoking areas.

The Time in South Africa

South African standard time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean (or Universal Standard) time, one hour ahead of Central European Winter Time, and seven hours ahead of the USA's Eastern Standard Winter Time.


Wiki Indaba falls in the Winter season. We recommend that you pack warm clothes. Although the current forecast is sunny and temperatures expected to vary between 15°C and 20°C, this can change at any time.

Visa Applications

Where applicable participants are required to apply for a visa. Please check if your country is exempt from this requirement on this list.

Applications must be submitted to the South African diplomatic or consular representative in your country. A list can be found here.

If there is no South African diplomat or consulate in your country, you can send your application to :

Director-General : Foreign Affairs, Private Bag X152, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa

Documents required for Visa applications

- A passport or travel document valid for no less than 30 days after the expiry of your intended visit
- Your passport must have at least one unused page for entry / departure endorsements
- A completed Form BI-84 (application for a visa)
- Payment of the prescribed fee
- A yellow-fever vaccination certificate (if required)See note below
- Statement and/or documentation confirming the purpose and duration of your visit
- Two colour passport photographs
- A return or onward ticket if you are travelling by air
- Proof of financial means to pay for your living expenses while in South Africa in the form of:
- Bank statements
- Salary advances
- Bursary
- Medical cover
- Cash available (including credit cards and travellers’ cheques)

Yellow Fever Certificates

Yellow Fever Certificates are required for residents of the following countries :

- Angola
- Burundi
- Benin
- Burkina Faso
- Cameroon
- Central African Republic
- Chad
- Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Ethiopia
- Gambia
- Gabon
- Guinea
- Guinea-Bissau
- Ghana
- Ivory Coast
- Kenya
- Liberia
- Mali
- Mauritania
- Niger
- Nigeria
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Senegal
- Sierra Leone
- Somalia
- Sudan
- Rwanda
- Tanzania
- Togo
- Uganda
- Zaire

For more information on visa applications, please visit the website of the Department of Home Affairs