Republic of South Africa
Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa has a landmass of 1 233 404 km² and is edged on three sides by a nearly 3,000km long coastline washed by the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
The city of Durban is on the east coast of South Africa, on the Indian Ocean.
50.59 million (2011)
Two hours ahead of GMT
South Africa has three capitals: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).
South Africa has 11 official languages including English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. English is spoken widely. Road signs and official documents are in English.
A Constitutional multiparty, three-tier (local, provincial, national) democracy with an independent judiciary and a free media.
South Africa’s currency is the Rand, which is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5 and notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.
Office hours are generally from 08:30 to 17:00, Monday to Friday.
Shopping hours are normally from 09:00 to 18:00, Monday to Friday. Opening times on Saturdays vary, but range between 09:00 and 17:00. Most major shopping centres and malls operate seven days a week.
Bank services and currency
Bank hours are from 09:00 to 15:30 on weekdays and from 08:30 to 11:00 on Saturdays. Most banks have cash dispensing machines accepting Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus ATM cards.
The power supply in South Africa is 220vAC, 50Hz. Electrical sockets are rounded and three pronged. Delegates are advised to bring adaptor plugs.
Tap water is drinkable in South Africa’s urban areas.
COP17/CMP7 will take place during the South African summer season. Durban will be humid with sunny days. Maximum temperatures will range between 28°C – 30°C.
Tipping is not compulsory but is customary, especially in restaurants where it is usual to give a 10% tip.
The international dialling code for South Africa is +27. For international operator assistance dial 0900/0903. For the national directory dial 1023.