General Information


Money Matters

Tipping

Generally you can work on 10% of the bill for a tip in a restaurant. Cab/taxi drivers do not expect tips but it certainly would not go amiss should somebody have given really excellent service. Virtually wherever you park your car in busy streets in Joburg, like most of South Africa's cities, there will be a car guard, often self-appointed (informal-sector entrepreneurship). A tip of anywhere between R3 and R6 is the going rate with the same for petrol attendants.

Value Added Tax

VAT is added to all services and goods by those companies who are VAT registered. VAT can be reclaimed on goods purchased (NOT services) and claims can be submitted (with full supporting documentation) at the airport.

Weather

Johannesburg has a great climate. It has a summer rainfall with little rain from May to September, sometimes even till October. Summer typically sees dramatic electrical storms with very heavy downpours. (Joburg's annual rainfall is higher than that of the U.K). Summer temperatures are usually in the high 20's during the day with a hot day being above 30°. Winter days can be warm with bright sunshine and clear skies during the day- between 17° and 21° but day temperatures can also be around 13°-17° and cold at night often below 5° or 6° or even lower. For current weather forecast click here.

Getting a South African SIM card for your cell/mobile phone

It is strongly recommended that you get a local Sim card for your cell/mobile phone. Many local cell phones have their connection to international numbers blocked.
SO PLEASE NOTE:
All South African mobile phone SIM cards must now be registered under strict new legislation which came into force on 1st July 2009. From that date mobile telecommunications providers operating in the country are required to record a customer's cell phone number, full name, identity number/passport number and proof of a local address, before activating a new SIM card. This means that should you want to pick up a local SIM card at the airport or on your way to Liz at Lancaster, you will need proof of address for your stay here. In this case please inform me before your departure, so that we can make advance arrangements with you.

Public Holidays in South Africa

South Africa is one of the countries in the world with the most public holidays (12 in a year) South Africa celebrates Christian holidays along with other National days and events of the past of historical importance (indicated in brackets below). Whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following on it is taken as a public holiday. The standard public holidays are:

1st JanuaryNew Year's Day
21st MarchHuman Rights Day (Sharpeville 1960)
Good Friday(Sometime between late March and late April)
Family Day(Monday after Easter Monday)
27th AprilFreedom Day (1st democratic election 1994)
1st MayWorker's Day
16th JuneYouth Day (Soweto Uprising 1976)
9th AugustWomen's Day (Women's March to Union Buildings 1955)
24th SeptemberHeritage Day (compromise to the IFP Zulu party as 24 Sept was celebrated as Shaka Day in KZN)
16th DecemberDay of Reconciliation (Battle of Blood River 1838)
25th DecemberChristmas Day
26th DecemberDay of Goodwill


Museums closed on Mondays. Many restaurants closed Mondays and several on Sunday evening as well.

Business hours :
  • Shopping: Large Malls open 7 days a week with stores like Woolworths [Marks and Spencers] remaining open till 7 or 8 in the evening . Small owner run and speciality shops will usually close at Saturday lunchtime.
  • Restaurant kitchens tend to close at around 10, maybe earlier during the week.
  • Banks open from 9 to 3.30 during the week and 9 to 11 on Saturdays
  • Government Departments tend to open at 7.30 and close at 3.30
  • Businesses typically have an 8.30 to 5 day
Rush hour can be anywhere between 7 to 9 and 3.30/4 to 6.30.

Health Care & Emergency

South Africa has world class health care facilities and many visitors come to South Africa because of the affordability and quality of private health care services of our in the country.
  • Rosebank Clinic 14 Sturdee Ave 011 328 0500 Part of the Netcare group
  • Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre 21 Eton Road Parktown 011 356 5000 (excellent Teaching Hospital)
  • Milpark Hospital 9 Guild Rd Parktown West 011 480 5600 (excellent Trauma Unit) A Netcare hospital
  • Park Lane Clinic 12 Junction Ave Parktown 011 480 4000 Also in the Netcare stable
  • Morningside Medi-Clinic Rivonia Rd 011 282 5000 (renowned fertility section) This clinic and the Sandton Clinic are part of the Medi-clinic group
  • Sandton Medi-Clinic HFDrive 011 709 2000

These are but some of many excellent private hospitals and clinics nearby Liz at Lancaster.




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