ALL ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA

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The Republic of South Africa is a country on the southern tip of the African continent. The capital of South Africa is Pretoria (Tschwane); Cape Town (Cape Town) is the legislative center and Bloemfontein the judicial center. The other big cities of South Africa are: Johannesburg (the most populated), Durban and Port Elizabeth. Rand is the currency used in the country. South Africa has 55.91 million inhabitants in 2016, divided into 80.2% of blacks, 8.8% of Coloureds, 8.4% of whites and 2.5% of Asians. Nation with very varied phenotypes, South Africa is thus in Africa the country presenting the largest portion of populations called Coloureds, white and Indian. South Africa is a reference power for the African continent with one of the continent's most developed economies and modern infrastructure covering the entire country. It is the second largest economy in Africa behind Nigeria.


Economy

South Africa’s economic freedom score is 63.0, making its economy the 77th freest in the 2018 Index. Its overall score has increased by 0.7 point, with significant improvements in investment freedom and judicial effectiveness outpacing declines in scores for the tax burden and trade freedom indicators. South Africa is ranked 4th among 47 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, and its overall score is above the regional and world averages. The top personal income tax rate is 41 percent. The top corporate tax rate is 28 percent. Other taxes include value-added and capital gains taxes. The overall tax burden equals 30.6 percent of total domestic income. Over the past three years, government spending has amounted to 32.6 percent of total output (GDP), and budget deficits have averaged 3.6 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 50.5 percent of GDP.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) have been identified as productive drivers of inclusive economic growth and development in South Africa and around the world. Some researchers have estimated that, in South Africa, small and medium-sized enterprises make up 91% of formalised businesses, provide employment to about 60% of the labour force and total economic output accounts for roughly 34% of GDP.
South Africa is rich in mineral resources. The country is the world's largest producer and exporter of gold, platinum, chrome and manganese and the fourth largest producer of diamonds. It produces 80% of the world's platinum and has 60% of the world's coal reserves. Important oil and gas reserves are thought to be situated off-coast, in the Indian Ocean. South Africa has diverse manufacturing industries and is a world leader in several specialised sectors, including railway rolling stock, synthetic fuels, mining equipment and machinery. The industrial sector employs nearly one-fourth of the workforce and represents 29.7% of the country's GDP.
The services sector is flourishing. It employs over 70% of the workforce and in 2017 it represented 67.5% of the country's GDP. The major sectors of the economy are finance, real estate and business services, followed by general government services. South Africa has a sophisticated financial structure with an active stock exchange that ranks among the world's top 20 in terms of market capitalisation. The tourism sector has struggled to capitalise on the boost it received from the FIFA World Cup in 2010, whilst benefiting from the weakness of the rand and visa facilitation. In 2017 South Africa welcomed 16million foreign tourists, with an increase of 4% over 2016 but still significantly below the global average increase of 7%.
Agriculture represents only a small part of the country's GDP (2.8%) and employs less than 5% of the country's workforce. South Africa is the world's sixth largest producer of wine and the continent's largest corn and sugar producer.


Languages

The main languages, of European origin, Afrikaans and English, and Bantu neufangles. The rand is the official currency of South Africa.


Shift

South Africa is at GMT + 2, ie: - in summer, there is no lag, when it is noon in Marseille, it is 12:00 in Johannesburg; - in winter, there is an hour difference, when it is noon in Marseille, it is 13:00 in Johannesburg.


Electricity

220 volts in general. The outlets have three large round triangular plugs. Provide an adapter "South Africa - India" (this format is not found on so-called "universal" adapters).


Phone

To call South Africa from France, dial 00 + 27 + area code (Bloemfontein, 51; Cape Town, 21; Durban, 31; East London, 43; Johannesburg, 11; Pretoria, 12; -Elizabeth, 41) + the 7-digit number of your correspondent. To call France from South Africa, dial 00 + 33 + the 9-digit number of your correspondent (without the initial 0).


Internet

Cybercafés suitably equipped, with broadband connections, in all major cities of the country. GSM coverage The relay in South Africa is good. However, we advise you to inquire of your operator on the terms of access to the local network.

How to move in town ?

If you are planning to travel to Johannesburg you are likely to depart from or arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport. This is arguably the busiest airport on the continent as it handles close to thirteen million passengers per year. Located fourteen miles east of the Johannesburg city center, this international airport has six different terminals. The airport is served by a major carrier and some minor ones, and it serves both domestic and international flights. To travel to and from OR Tambo International Airport you have the options of using a bus, train, taxi, or even a limo.


Bus

If you plan to travel by bus from the airport you have the option of using public transportation. This can be found just outside the international and domestic terminals, and it is provided by city buses and informal minibuses. The Rea Vaya, for instance, is a rapid transit bus that was designed to provide safe, secure, and affordable public transport. In fact the Rea Vaya has dedicated bus lanes and it stops every 500m

Taxis

However, if you are not familiar with South Africa it may not be advisable to use public transportation - unless if you have a local who can show you around. Taxis, for example, would be a better option mainly because you will be assured of being dropped off at the front door of your destination. There are metered taxis that can be easily recognized by their yellow “taxi” lights, and which are usually placed on the roofs of these cars. The taxi rank is located just outside the arrivals area. A taxi ride from the airport to Johannesburg takes approximately thirty to forty-five minutes. Although the locals tend to avoid using metered taxis because they are generally more expensive than the bus services, foreigners may find that metered taxis provide the quickest form of transportation to and from the airport and that their rates are pocket-friendly.

Train

There is now a new rail link from the airport to the suburbs in Sandton and Pretoria, and the train station also offers parking and bus connections. If you therefore want to access the train station at the airport you will find it on the upper level between terminals A&B; all you have to do is to follow the signs.

Limo

If you are looking to travel in more comfort then hiring a limo service is the best option. Although this service may be quite pricey it will definitely save you from the fatigue of having to deal with airport congestions and you will also be assured of relaxing all the way to your destination. There are a number of companies at the airport from who visitors can obtain this luxuriant service. The next time you are in Johannesburg ensure that you choose a transportation option that suits your needs and budget.

Visa

Applying for a South African Visa Visitors’ visas are for international travellers (citizens of other countries) who have permanent residence outside South Africa and who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for a period of 90 days or less. A visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed at a South African embassy, mission or consulate and that the consular officer has determined you are eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose. The visa will allow you to travel to a South African port of entry where an immigration official will then determine if you are allowed to enter South Africa and for how long you can stay for that particular visit. Visitors are restricted to the activity or purpose for which their visas were issued. On entry to South Africa, a visa is considered to be a visitor’s permit. The permit’s period of validity is calculated from the date of entry into the country and will be set out under the heading “conditions” on the visa label. You must ensure that you apply for the correct visa/permit. Entry in the country may be refused if the purpose of visit was not correctly stated. Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/countries-exempt-from-sa-visas, and the requirements are subject to change. As each application is treated as an individual case and you should make enquiries with your nearest South African mission or consulate abroad or any office of the Department of Home Affairs to see whether or not you are required to apply for a visa. Remember that there is a fee charged for issuing a visa, and you should check the cost with the office as well as this is updated annually. The fee is payable in different currencies in different countries. Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country Foreigners with long term status (work permits/permit residence) in the neighbouring countries who transit the Republic to return to their employment or residence are not subject to the transit visa, provided they are in possession of proof of their status.

South African visitors’ visas may be granted for:
• visits to family or friends and also for tourism purposes
• business purposes
• spouse to join a spouse who is in South Africa on a work or study visas
• children to join parents who are in South Africa on work or study visas
• study purposes
• charitable or voluntary activities
• research
• conferences
• to work in the production of a movie or show (i.e. in the entertainment industry)
• Etc…

Requirements for entering South Africa
You will need the following if you wish to visit South Africa:
• A valid and acceptable passport or travel document for your intended stay
• At least one blank page in your passport for endorsements
• A valid visa, if required Sufficient funds to pay for your day-to-day expenses during your stay
• A return or onward ticket
• Yellow fever certificates if your journey starts or entails passing through the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America.

Countries exempt from South African Visas

PASSPORT HOLDERS WHO ARE EXEMPT FROM VISAS FOR SOUTH AFRIC SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official and ordinary) of the foreign countries / territories / international organisations listed below are not required to hold a visa when reporting to an immigration officer for an examination at a South African port of entry, subject to the terms and conditions set out in this list, including inter alia the intended period of stay in the Republic.

1. The holder of a national South African passport, travel document and document for travel purposes.
2. The citizen who is a holder of a national passport (diplomatic, official or ordinary) of the following countries / territories / international organisations is not required to hold a visa in respect of purposes for which a visitor’s permit may be issued or by virtue of being a person contemplated in section 31(3)(b) [accredited in SA] for an intended stay of 90 days or less and when in transit:
• African Union Laissez Passer
• Andorra

• Argentina
• Australia
• Austria
• Belgium
• Botswana
• Brazil
• Canada
• Chile (only ordinary passport holders)
• Czech Republic

Airport

Johannesburg airport seated in the heart of Kempton park (Ekurhuleni), Gauteng in South Africa. The JNB short code for the OR Tambo International Airport, have gone through some major changes since it was founded in 1952. South Africa is listed as the most popular destination in Africa. The busiest airport is the Oliver Tambo International Airport. Visitors to the OR Tambo International Airport will be delighted to know that there are various amenities available within short distance from the airport. Their accommodation needs are covered by places like the Airport Grand Hotel that is a five minute drive away from the airport, offering the business executives easy access to other major centers of Pretoria and Johannesburg. Wi-Fi
Airport Online, which offers Internet access, has a branch in the international departures terminal and two in the domestic terminal. One of these, open to the general public, is near the ATMs in the shopping area. The second, for use by passengers only, is between the main security point and the boarding gates.
The international departures terminal also offers a wireless option, which allows laptop users with wireless cards to connect to the Internet from anywhere in the departures hall - including from most of the restaurants in the terminal.

Money

There are branches of Nedbank and Absa Bank on the mezzanine level of the public concourse in the international arrivals terminal.
Automated teller machines (ATMs) can be found in: - The public concourse of the international arrivals terminal; and - Level one of the shopping concourse in the domestic terminal.

Foreign exchange

The foreign-exchange outlets of Absa, American Express, Rennies and Master Currency are all in the public concourse of the international arrivals terminal. Absa Bank also has an outlet in the holding lounge of the international departures terminal, but this is not for the use of South Africans.

Christian Chapel

O.R. Tambo International Airport has a Christian Chapel open for prayer and quiet time to all passengers and airport staff 24/7. The chapel holds prayer and worship services on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday at 13h00. An evening service is held every second Wednesday at 19h00. The Chapel is situated on level 2 at the far side of Terminal B just above our clinic. For more info contact Trish on 0711640927 or 011 975 8491 or refer to the Chapel notice board

Muslim prayer facility

Our Muslim prayer facility is open 24/7 for prayer and quiet time. There is a Friday prayer service held just after noon with both a male and female facility. This facility is located in the basement parkade closest to Terminal A arrivals

Conference Centre

The Premier Conference Centre in the domestic terminal offers a modern and stylish environment for business meetings, conferences and seminars. It has three 10-seater rooms, a 12-seater room, a 14-seater room, a seminar facility for groups of 25 or 50, as well as a conference room for groups of 60 or 120.

Disabled travellers

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is committed to providing world-class facilities that meet the needs of all airport users. We focus on ensuring existing and new facilities within our airports meet the particular needs of disabled travellers and airport users. In the multi-storey parkade at ORTIA there are disabled parking bays at all levels while the airport itself features special lifts, ramps, wheelchairs and toilets for the disabled. Passengers who require assistance boarding and disembarking from aircraft can make arrangements with the relevant airline when booking.

Flight information

You can check flight times and details by:
- Calling +27 (0) 86 727 7888 for ACSA's automated flight-information service
- Calling the ACSA information desk, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on +27 (0) 11 921 6262;
- Using your mobile phone to send an SMS containing the flight number to the number 35007, in reply to which you will receive up-to-date flight details, or
- Checking online live arrivals and departures.

Information kiosks

These can be found in:
- Terminal A (international arrivals and international departures)
- Terminal B (domestic arrivals)
- At the kiosks, you will first have to identify yourself. Note that different airlines may require different means of identification, such as passports for international flights, loyalty cards or credit cards.
- Once you have accepted the security conditions (prominently displayed next to the kiosks), you will be guided to complete the check-in procedure, including seat reservation. The kiosk will deliver boarding passes and instruct you to proceed to the relevant boarding gate.
- Further identity verification, requiring an identity document with photograph, will be performed by airline personnel at the boarding gate.

Post office

There is a post office at the international arrivals terminal, and you will find Postnet on the shopping level of the domestic terminal.

Restrooms

There are restrooms in all terminal buildings. Baby-changing facilities and other amenities for young children are available in most ladies restrooms.

Public telephones

There are public telephones in all terminals. Telephone services outlets can be found in the public concourse of the international arrivals terminal and in the holding lounge of the international departures terminal.

Mobile phone rentals

A Vodacom Superstore, on the shopping level of the domestic terminal, sells mobile phones, airtime top-ups and mobile phone accessories. The international terminal boasts a number of mobile phone shops and service providers.

Airport Taxi

• AIRPORT LINK provides a chauffeur drive facility where the driver remains with the passengers for an agreed duration. In addition they offer a range of pre-booked transfer services.
Tel: +27 11 794 8300
• Rose Taxis started in 1934 by Henry Rose, the company was taken over by a group of 40 Rose taxi drivers in 1951. They started the Taxi Association and gradually increased the number of drivers. At present Rose Taxis has 224 drivers operating a 24 hour service seven days a week.
Tel: +27 83 255 0933
• Cabs for Women is a metered cab service owned by women. All drivers are women, all vehicles are fitted with GPS tracking and taxi meters, the price is transparent.
Tel: + 27 861 777 778

Car hire

Hiring a car from the Johannesburg international airport should not be a problem since there are a number of car rental companies at the airport, and understandably so because this airport is the busiest in Africa. One of the greatest advantages of car hire is the fact that you can plan your own itinerary for visiting the various tourist attraction sites. Although hiring a car can be done right from the airport, it is worth considering making your booking in advance so as to avoid any disappointments. Some of the car hire companies available here include Avis, Europcar, Budget, Tempest Car Hire Johannesburg, South Africa Car Hire, Hertz, National Car Rental, and Value Car Hire among many other companies. With all these companies providing this service you are assured of hiring a car at a good price. In addition, these companies have different types of vehicles and everyone is therefore assured of finding a car that will perfectly suit his or her needs; it does not matter if you are looking for a budget car, a standard car hire, or even a luxury car. Some of the requirements for persons who want to rent cars include copies of the driving license, ID and passport. If you are therefore planning to hire a car at Johannesburg international airport, be sure to make enough enquiries so that you can find one at the best price possible. To pre-book your car hire online please https: Click here

The Capital On The Park
Set in an upscale neighbourhood, this refined hotel is a 9-minute walk from Sandton train station, a 17-minute walk from Sandton Convention Centre and 16 km from Johannesburg's city centre.
Streamlined rooms come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and tea and coffeemaking facilities. Studios add kitchens with washer/dryers, and living areas with dining tables; apartments also offer separate living rooms. Some feature balconies. Room service is available 24/7.
Parking is complimentary. Other amenities include a sleek restaurant/bar, a fitness centre, a spa, and a heated outdoor pool with a hot tub. There’s also a conference centre.

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