There are approximately 55 million people in South Africa and 6.2 million people in the Western Cape.
English is the main business and academic language; although there are 11 official languages in South Africa. The main local languages spoken are English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. With large numbers of foreign residents, Cape Town also has significant German, Dutch, French, Chinese and Spanish communities with the available language skills to assist during an international business event.
Visas are issued by the South African missions abroad and must be affixed in the applicant’s passport before departing for South Africa. Visas are not issued on arrival at South African ports of entry. Many nationalities do not require a visa to enter South Africa, therefore it is best to check with the South African mission or with a travel agent if a visa is required. For further information, please visit: www.services.gov.za
Stellenbosch enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with a dry, hot summer (max. temperature 27 °C) and a wet, mild winter (min. temperature 7 °C).
There are private and government Emergency units located within 5 minutes of the Stellenbosch CBD, in addition to one Emergency Centre and a Campus Health clinic. The town has two ambulance services. The Western Cape is not a malaria region and there are no tropical diseases to be aware of and no vaccine requirements for visitors although visitors are requested to have the relevant yellow fever injections should they have travelled from or to an affected area prior to entering South Africa.
It is safe to drink the tap water in South Africa although bottled water is readily available as well.
In South Africa, motorists drive on the left. An international driver’s license will be required if a visitor wishes to drive while in South Africa.
The majority of goods sold in South Africa are subject to a 15% Value Added Tax (VAT). Visitors are not exempt from paying VAT although they can claim it back if the value of the goods bought exceeds R250. To claim the VAT, the goods must be taken out of the country within 90 days from the date of purchase. Visitors who wish to claim VAT should go to the VAT Refund Administration Office or customs official at the port of exit. For more information, please visit: http://www.taxrefunds. co.za
South Africa offers a sophisticated internet network and Wi-Fi is readily available throughout the Western Cape. There are a number of mobile networks available and SIM cards can be bought at airports and shopping centres. The electric current is 240 volts AC so visitors should bring a plug adaptor for three-pin sockets.
South African Time is GMT +2. There are no time differences within South Africa and no daylight saving time. Shopping hours vary but shops are typically open from Monday to Sunday, 9 am – 5.30 pm. The Eikestad Mall and Stellenbosch Square shopping malls, trade from 9 am – 6 pm. Distances are measured in kilometres and metres. Weight is indicated by grams and kilograms. Temperature is mainly measured in degrees Celsius.
The Rand is the official currency of South Africa and foreign currency can be exchanged at the Cape Town International Airport, at commercial banks and at any Bureaux de Change. The exchange rate is extremely favorable for visitors: US$ 13.36 € 15.29 £ 17.46 Currency exchange as per February 2019