Winter in Johannesburg is from May to August and is the driest season of the year. The weather is mild and sunny during the day with maximum temperatures hovering around 18/20 °C 64/68 °F, but the nights are cold, with the minimum temperatures in June and July dropping to near freezing at 0 °C or 32 °F.
For weather updates, please check on https://www.weathersa.co.za/?city=Johannesburg
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)
ATMs can be found in many hotels and all shopping malls, and are generally safe to use.
Credit or Debit card payments can be made via Visa, Maestro, MasterCard, American Express and other payment instruments and are widely accepted in-store or online by most merchants in South Africa.
There are several currency exchange counters at the OR Tambo International Airport. Hotels tend to charge higher rates. Check trip Advisor for more information.
The following major banks are located at shopping malls within the vicinity of Sandton:
- Most shops and businesses are open between 09h00 and 17h00 on weekdays (with shops open on Saturdays) and on Sundays until 13h00;
- Major malls tend to stay open later: sometimes up to 20h00 during the week, on weekends and on most public holidays;
- Most banks close at 15h30 on weekdays but are open on Saturday mornings (typically from 09h00 to 12h00); and
- Muslim-owned businesses close between noon and 13h00 on Fridays.
- The legal tender in South Africa is the South African Rand;
- Cash isn’t the only payment option in South Africa;
- Most establishments have card facilities and accept international credit cards; and
- Foreign currency is exchangeable for local currency at any bank or Foreign Exchange Bureau.
Calling to and from South Africa
If you want to call a telephone number in South Africa from abroad, dial +27 first, followed by the area code and the local number. If you want to call a number in another country from South Africa, dial the country code (International Dialling Codes: https://countrycode.org/ ) and then the number.
The South African Rand (sign: R; code: ZAR) is the official currency of the Southern African Common Monetary Area: including South Africa, Namibia (with the Namibian dollar), Lesotho (using the Lesotho Leloti) and Eswatini (using the Lilangeni).
As at February 1, 2023, 1€ = 18.5 ZAR and 1USD = 17.48 ZAR.
For the past ten years and more, South Africa has been beset with ‘loadshedding,’ the term used for the electricity blackouts that are now almost daily occurrences. The number of hours of loadshedding varies per day, and you can access an app from the main electricity provider to find out the loadshedding schedule for each day. Banks, shopping malls, hotels, petrol stations and other large businesses almost all have generators to enable them to continue their operations. The conference venue and University of Johannesburg have back-up facilities and we do not anticipate that conference delegates will be affected adversely by loadshedding during the conference events.
Plug type D is the main plug type in South Africa. It has three round pins in a triangular pattern. There are three other associated plug types that can be used in many places: types C, M and N. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins, and plug types M and N both have three round pins. South Africa operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. Many modern hotels provide outlets for usb ports and EU sized plugs.
Consult the following website for additional information.
Safety and security
While you do need to take necessary precautions, South Africa is indeed safe for tourists to visit. Always stay alert. Theft from luggage can occur. To avoid this, don't place valuables in checked-in luggage when travelling.
- Always be aware of your surroundings;
- Don’t take your wallet or money out on the streets or in other high-person-volume places;
- Use the hotel safe in your room for your valuables; and
- Never leave valuables unattended.
Service Details - Gauteng Digital Platform
Should you have an emergency and need immediate attention, call one of the emergency services at:
011 913 4804
|Joburg Traffic police
Sandton Police Station
011 722 4358
|Fire & Ambulance
Sandton Fire Department
011 407 6374
Private emergency medical services (including transportation by ambulance) are not free, and you will be billed for any services rendered to you, after the service is rendered. If you are staying in a hotel and you need to see a doctor or dentist, contact the reception desk and they will direct you to someone assigned to that hotel. If you are staying with a friend or family, you are advised to contact their family doctor or dentist.
South Africa has some of the best hospital care on the African continent. However, most of this comes at a cost through private providers. There is low-cost treatment available through state hospitals in all provinces, charged at the standard 40% subsidized rate. Residents who cannot afford private healthcare mostly use this.
Private hospital care in South Africa is of a similar standard and price to many western countries. If you are covered for hospital treatment through a private insurance plan, you will need to check how much of the treatment costs you will have to pay for upfront and claim back through your insurance provider.
Around 79% of doctors in South Africa work privately. There are also around 200 private hospitals across the country. Two of the biggest private providers are Netcare and Mediclinic, which run many hospitals. Private services can be accessed through private health insurance in South Africa. You can choose your own coverage plan and will typically have to pay for services upfront and then claim for reimbursement.
A wide variety of painkillers, vitamins and cold treatments can be bought without prescription in any South African supermarkets, kiosks. To obtain medicines which have been prescribed by a doctor, you must visit a pharmacy (Chemist).
Water in South Africa is not always filtered, so it is best to ask if tap water is potable (it is often acceptable for coffee and tea after boiling). All hotels generously provide bottled water daily and the conference will provide filtered and/or bottled water.
Joburg has numerous places where you can use a computer with internet access, including almost any hotel. Nowadays many shopping malls, restaurants, coffee shops and cafes also offer free Wi-Fi services.
South Africa uses South African Standard Time (SAST) which is UTC+3.
The amount you tip in South Africa will depend on where you are and what type of services you’re buying. As a rule, expect to tip around 10% of the bill. If you get exceptionally good service, you may say thank you with a tip closer to 15-20%.
Weights & Measures
By 1974, South Africa converted to the metric system and therefore uses meters as its measurement for length, litres for liquids and kilos for weight. This is different from countries that use the Imperial System. The conversions between these two systems are:
Kilometers & miles
1 mile = 1.609 kilometers
1 kilometer = 0.621 miles
Liters & gallons
1 gallon = 4.546 liters
1 liter = 0.220 gallons
Kilos & pounds
1 pound = 0.453 kilos
1 kilo = 2.204 pounds