Climate and dress
Gauteng, the province in which Boksburg and the conference venue is situated, is said to offer one of the world’s best climates: summer days are warm and wind free and winter days are crisp and clear.
Johannesburg has a delightfully mild climate, neither humid nor too hot. There are about six weeks of chill in mid-winter (from July to August) and summer offers warm sunshine followed by balmy nights (October to March). The seasons are flexible, one running into the next, and summer habitually spills over into spring and autumn. One of the reasons for such a great climate is the fact that Johannesburg is located at high altitude, at some 1,753 metres / 5,751 feet above sea level. The nights can be chilly particularly in winter. Bring a jacket to wear in the evenings. The rainy season is in summer rather than winter. Rainstorms are often harsh accompanied by much thunder and lightning and occasional hail, but they are brief and followed by warm sunshine. The average daytime temperature during October and November ranges from 24oC to 30oC and the average minimum temperature is 14oC with an average of 13 hours sunshine per day.
The local currency in South Africa is the South African Rand, denoted by the symbol “R”. Exchange rates are subject to fluctuation. To obtain the current exchange rates and to convert the ZAR amounts into your own currency [Euros (€), GBP (£), USD ($), etc] check a currency converter. Credit cards such as Visa and Master Card are widely accepted, with most shops also accepting American Express. Diner’s Club Cards are in general not accepted. Delegates can also exchange foreign currency at the airport.
Banking hours are from 09:00 to 15:30 on weekdays and from 08:30 to 13:00 on Saturdays. Automated teller machines (ATMs) providing South African Currency are available at OR Tambo International Airport as well as shopping centres. Most banks have cash dispensing machines accepting Visa, MasterCard. Bureau de Change facilities are available at most banks.
There is no limit on the amount of foreign currency that may be imported into South Africa by individual non-residents, provided that it is declared on arrival to facilitate the exportation thereof upon departure. Please note that there is a limitation (R 5000.00) on the importation and exportation of South African Bank notes.
Western food is normally served. Traditional dishes are also available. Delegates with special dietary requirements will be accommodated as far as possible. Kosher and Halaal meals can be supplied at an additional cost for the delegate. Please indicate your preferences on the registration form.
Tap water is purified and 100% safe to drink and bottled water is freely available. South Africa is a country with limited water resources, and everyone is encouraged to save water as much as possible.
The electricity supply in South Africa is 220/230 Volts AC, 50 Hz. Hotels are equipped to accept appliances fitted with a 16 Amp 3 point round pin plug. Most bathrooms are equipped for electrical shavers with 5 Amp 2 pin plugs. Delegates are advised to bring along their own adapter plugs.
Excursions on 8 December
The following excursions are offered as an optional extra on the afternoon of 8 December. Bookings have to be done in advance.
|Maropeng||The main building at Maropeng, called the Tumulus, emulates an ancient burial mound from the front, and in stark contrast, upon exiting, a very modern iconic structure is revealed. The architecture is symbolic of the journey through the evolution of life that is represented underground in the Maropeng Visitors’ Centre and the entire layout of the individual facilities across the site is based on the theme of constant discovery.
An original fossil display and a boat ride on an underground lake through the four life-giving elements that combined to form the earth and shape the world as it is known today, are offered in the Maropeng Visitors’ Centre.
|Rhino & Lion Park||Situated in a World Heritage Site, The Cradle of Humankind, this 1 200-hectare park is home to over 700 head of game including white rhino, lion, buffalo, cheetah, wild dog, hippo and crocodile. Their newly built Wildlife Centre houses, amongst others, Bengal and Syberian tigers, jaguars and white lions. If your holiday is nearing its end, but you still need to get those photos to impress your friends - this is it! We conduct a driving tour in our closed air-conditioned Ulysses vehicle through the Park and predator camps and the tour is concluded with a walk through the Wildlife Centre and Reptile Park.|
|Soweto||In Soweto, South West from Johannesburg, you will catch a glimpse of the lives of its estimated 3 million residents. This popular tour includes a visit to attractions such as: Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown – home of the Freedom Charter, Mandela House Museum, Hector Pietersen Museum and Memorial Site, Vilakazi Street - one of South Africa's most famous streets – the only one in the world to have housed two Nobel Prize winners, A local restaurant/ kiosk for refreshments (one local beer or cold drink included). The tour is concluded with a drive past: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and taxi rank, The Soweto Campus of the University of Johannesburg, Soccer City – home to the opening and closing functions of the Soccer World Cup 2010 and Regina Mundi Church|
Medical and Health requirements
South Africa has no national health scheme. The patient must pay for medical treatment and hospitalisation. It’s advisable to purchase travel insurance which covers medical expenses during the period of your stay. Doctors are listed in all local telephone directories under “Medical” and dentists under “Dentist”. People arriving in South Africa from a yellow fever zone must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate. Immunisation against cholera and smallpox is not required. The South African sun is strong with a high ultraviolet rating, so screening products with sun protection factors of 15 and over is recommended.
Delegates and other participants are encouraged to obtain medical travel insurance from a reputable organisation, as medical treatment at private facilities in South Africa is expensive, with public facilities also levying charges for services rendered. It is therefore strongly recommended that delegates and other participants acquire medical travel insurance when purchasing their flight tickets. This insurance is relatively cheap and will ensure a trouble-free trip should medical treatment be required.
In the unlikely event of a delegate or another participant becoming seriously ill, or incurring a serious injury, emergency medical transportation to the closest appropriate health facility can be arranged.
Visitors to the Limpopo, Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu-Natal areas (e.g. those that will visit the Kruger National Park), should take anti-malaria tablets before, during and after their stay. Please consult with your doctor in taking the necessary prophylactic. Anti-malaria tablets are obtainable from local pharmacies without prescription. Boksburg falls within a malaria-free area.
In terms of the International Health Regulations Act, any person travelling from, or through, a yellow fever endemic area is required to provide proof of having a valid yellow fever vaccination prior to being allowed to enter South Africa. Should a person not be able to provide such proof, such person shall have the option of being vaccinated on-site (at their own cost) or being placed in quarantine for 6 days. Due to the high cost of this, it is strongly recommended that affected visitors be vaccinated prior to their travel. Affected countries are listed in terms of an annual World Health Organisation publication. This publication can be viewed on the Internet here.
The registration fees do not provide insurance for participants against personal accidents, sickness, theft or property damage. This applies to all events during the conference period, and participants are advised to obtain their own insurance, including medical insurance, before travelling to South Africa. The Conference and its organisers will not be liable for loss, injury to person or property, however caused.
Wireless Internet Access is available in selected areas of the hotel to be used for social media and email. Internet vouchers can be purchased at the reception.
The official language of the conference will be English. No translation services will be available. Since English is one of the official languages of South Africa, it is widely spoken. Some staff members of up-market hotels and shops speak languages such as German, French and Italian.
Passports and visas
For further information contact your local office of the diplomatic or consular representative of the South African Government. Tourists must satisfy immigration officers that they have the means to support themselves during their stay, and that they are in possession of return or onward air tickets. Possession of a visa may not automatically guarantee admission to the country.\
Please contact the Conference Secretariat for an invitation letter should you require one to support your visa application. Please note that such an invitation letter can only be issued once full payment of the conference registration and accommodation fees has been received.
After they have collected all their luggage, all travelers should proceed to the Customs declaration channels with their personal luggage to make a Customs Declaration to the officers manning the channels. Persons who have nothing to declare, have goods that fall within their duty-free allowances and do not carry any prohibited or restricted goods, commercial goods or goods carried on behalf of another person may proceed to the Green Channel. In all other instances or where traveler is not sure the Red Channel should be selected.
Please note that all fresh produce, fruit, vegetables, seeds, plants, bulbs, tubers, cut flowers, cuttings of plants, honey, eggs, milk, cheese and all meat products are restricted from importation into South Africa. Should any participant in the Events wish to import such, arrangements should be made with the South African Department of Agriculture for the importation of such.
The importation of medication is strictly controlled. You may import one month’s supply of medication for personal use, provided that you are in possession of a prescription issued by a registered physician. Habit forming drugs, physiographic substances as well as counterfeit goods (goods which infringe intellectual property rights) are strictly prohibited for importation into South Africa.
Persons from the media or exhibitors in possession of cameras as well as other equipment carried as accompanied passenger luggage are advised to import such under cover of an ATA Carnet in order to avoid unnecessary delays.
Payment of Customs Duties and VAT may be made in South African Rand or by means of credit card.
People with disabilities
Participation by all interested individuals is encouraged and every effort will be made to meet the requirements of people with disabilities. For people with a disability, advance notification of their needs for services and accommodations will ensure that the appropriate arrangements are made. Please contact the Conference Secretariat in this regard.
Tourists should remember that the same security precautions should be taken when visiting South Africa than in any other country in the world. It is advisable not to walk around in dark, lonely places at night and to be extremely careful of pickpockets; never to carry large amounts of money or jewelery; always let someone know where you are going and how long you will be gone when you leave home; be on the lookout for suspicious looking cars or people; when you are driving your car, make sure that all doors are locked. Try not to look too much like a tourist and move around in a group where possible. The venue has a well-developed security system with the safety of its visitors a high priority.
South Africa observes Central Africa Time (UTC+2) all year. There are no Daylight Saving Time clock changes. For more information, please click here.
local taxis do not cruise; you have to call them from a rank – your hotel will be able to assist you with this. There are also several accredited Taxi operators at the OR Tambo n International Airport.
All major international car rental companies are represented in South Africa. Recognised credit cards may be used for payment. It is advised that you rent a car through your local travel agent, since there are special packages available for tourists from foreign countries that cannot be obtained if you rent within South Africa. Drivers should have a valid driver’s license: the license must be printed in English and contain a photograph of the owner, OR you need an International Driving Permit.
Driving around: An excellent road network links the largest metropolitan areas with the smallest villages. The speed limit is 120 km/h on freeways, 100 km/h on rural roads and 60 km/h in built up areas. South Africa drives on the left side of the road. The wearing of seat belts is compulsory. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence (the legal blood alcohol limit for driving is less than 0.05g per 100ml of blood, or the legal breath alcohol limit is less than 0.24mg in 1 000 ml of breath) and traffic laws are strictly enforced. Most petrol (gas) filling stations stay open 24 hours per day. Pump attendants will serve you. Third Party Insurance premium is built into the price of petrol (gas).
VAT (Value Added Tax)
VAT, currently at 15% is included in the marked/quoted price of most goods and services. Foreign tourists may claim refunds of VAT paid on goods which they take out of South Africa. Information leaflets on the procedure to follow are available from VAT Refund Administration offices at the international airports in Cape Town and Johannesburg.