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ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA

Welcome to the birthplace of Madiba.

Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city and capital of Gauteng province, began as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement. Its sprawling Soweto township was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s former residence is now the Mandela House museum. Other Soweto museums that recount the struggle to end segregation include the somber Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, a former prison complex. Pretoria, Johannesburg’s sister town, is the administrative capital of South Africa. Known as “Jacaranda City” for its thousands of jacaranda trees, it’s also home to universities and government buildings. The semicircular Union Buildings encompass the president’s offices and hosted Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. Nearby is the Voortrekker Monument, honoring 19th-century Afrikaans settlers from the Cape Colony. The North-West landscape is defined by mountains in the northeast and bushveld scattered with trees and shrubs. The province is home to Sun City, an upscale resort with hotels, a casino, and a water park with a massive wave pool. Nearby is Pilanesberg National Park, home of the Bakubung Game Lodge, with an extinct volcano and more than 7,000 animals, including lions and elephants.


As the conference will be held at a remote game lodge, you will have to come back to visit to see what more South Africa has to offer, or alternatively, extend you stay and visit any of our numerous attractions, such as our beautiful 3000 km coastline, to name one. See various options under “Extend you stay”.


South Africa is known for its long sunny days, hence the title, ‘Sunny South Africa’. Most of the nine provinces have summer rainfall, except for the Western Cape, which experiences winter rainfall. The high-lying areas of the interior can be chilly in winter, but not by European standards. The average temperatures for October is between a minimum of 11°C [52°F] and a maximum of 25°C [77°F]. https://www.accuweather.com/en/za/south-africa-weather


In the suburb of Sandton, the Sandton City shopping mall which offers 1,380,000 sq ft of retail space and together with the adjacent Nelson Mandela Square form one of the largest retail complexes on the continent of Africa with shops such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and other exclusive boutiques, is known as the “richest square mile in Africa”. Visitors will find that across the whole country, many local and international brands and goods are easily accessible and offered at very affordable prices.


Delegates are advised to arrange their own personal insurance to cover medical and other expenses including accident or loss. Conference cancellation will attract the normal cancellation policy.

VAT in South Africa currently stands at 15% as of 1 April 2018.

The VAT refund will only be applicable to the acquisition of goods and not on the acquisition of services i.e. the VAT charged at 15% on any acquisition of services, such as transport and accommodation, will not qualify for a refund.

A qualifying purchaser is entitled to claim a VAT refund. In this regard, a ‘qualifying purchaser’ is a person who is not a registered vendor and who is according to the Export Regulations a tourist.

A qualifying purchaser, may claim a VAT refund by submitting such claim to the VAT Refund Administrator (Pty) Ltd (the VRA).  The qualifying purchaser must first declare the goods to a customs official at the designated commercial port of departure from South Africa. The tax invoice for goods that are not kept as hand luggage must be endorsed by the customs official and a VRA official if the VRA has a physical presence at the commercial port. If the VRA does not have a physical presence, you must apply in writing to the VRA.

A VAT refund will be considered if the following requirements are met:

  • The purchaser must be a qualifying purchaser.
  • The goods must be exported within 90 days from the date of the tax invoice subject to certain exceptions.
  • The VAT inclusive total of all movable goods purchased during a visit to the RSA and exported at the end of that visit by the qualifying purchaser must exceed the minimum of R250 per qualifying purchaser.
  • The request for a refund, together with the relevant documentation, must be received by the VRA within 90 days of date of export.
  • The goods must be exported through one of the 43 designated commercial ports by the qualifying purchaser or the qualifying purchaser’s cartage contractor.
  • The qualifying purchaser must submit all the relevant original documentary proof to prove that the movable goods were exported by road, sea, air or rail.

Tipping – As a rough guide: give 10% to 15% to a waitron in a restaurant; about US$10 (or equivalent) per day to your safari ranger.

Currency – South Africa’s currency is the Rand, which offers visitors great value for money. The rand comes in a range of coins (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200. Currency conversions are available on https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter

Smoking Policy – Smoking is banned in public places, but there are usually designated areas where people can smoke.
Under-18s may not enter a designated smoking area or buy cigarettes.

Electricity – The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ.
With a few exceptions (in deep rural areas), electricity is available almost everywhere.

What to Pack – Include smart casual clothes for the conference. Smart attire is recommended for the gala dinner. A warm jacket is needed for game drives.