South Africa

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PRACTICAL INFORMATION

 

Currency - Business hours - Transportation - Internet - Basic conversation guide - Langages spoken


Currency

The currency is the Rand (SAR). It is issued in bills of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 rands.

 

Automatic Teller Machines (ATM)
To find out the locations of ATMs in South Africa , click on the link to your credit card: Visa, Mastercard or American Express


Business hours

Public administrations: Monday to Friday from 8.00 to 15.30.



Transportation

Road
The main roads are in very good condition but some secondary roads are less reliable (it is recommended to avoid them at night). Left-hand driving requires some particular attention to the persons who are not used to it, especially at crossroads. When reaching a junction with "Stop" signs at each intersection, priority is yield in chronological order. Rental and car insurance companies are rather efficient. When renting a car, ask for the required form (jointly agreed statement) you would need to fill out in case of an accident. If an accident does occur, you should contact your rental company and the police. The rate of fatal accidents is important. High-speed driving, lack of experience, lack of visibility of the pedestrians walking on roadsides in rural zones, and drink driving cause most of these accidents. A four-wheel drive vehicle cannot be driven the same way as a regular car: you should not exceed 100 kph on roads and 80 kph on tracks, always fasten your seat belt, even at reduced speed on tracks, avoid any unnecessary additional load, especially on the roof rack, and never turn the wheel suddenly. If you rent a car, it is better to get one with a bright color, easy to drive, even though it will cost a little bit more. If you get an accident in a remote zone or near the townships, it is advised to go directly to the nearest police station or hospital. Emergency phone numbers: Police: 10111; Ambulances: 999 Automobile Association: 0800 03 30 07.



Rail
Very good. However, it is strictly advised not to take the Pretoria - Johannesburg connection ("Metro") where there is a constant feeling of insecurity. Furthermore, never get into an isolated coach on your own.

Air
Domestic flights are ensured by several airlines. Maintenance and reliability do not call to any particular remark.

 


Internet

The Internet suffix is: .za



Languages spoken

Official language: Zulu. South-Africa counts more or less 25 languages. The main languages are the Bantu languages: Zulu (22,4 %), Xhosa (17,5 %), Sotho (9,8 %), Tswana (7,2 %), Sesotho (6,9 %), Tsonga (4,2 %), Swati (2,6 %), Venda (1,7 %), Ndébélé (1,5 %). It is important to add Indo-Iranian languages such as Hindi (2,2 %), Urdu and Goujarati, a Dravidian language (Tamul), Chinese, and some native languages.


Last modified in January 2006
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