Cape Town and South Africa
South Africa is an inexpensive destination taking into consideration the favourable exchange rate for many of the international currencies. The unit of currency is the Rand, which is made up of 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2, and R5; with notes in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at commercial banks and at various foreign exchange bureaux. Banks are generally open from 09:00 – 15:30 weekdays and 08:30 - 11:00 on Saturdays. Most banks have Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), which are in operation 24 hours a day for statements, cash withdrawals, deposits and the purchase of airtime for your cellular phone.
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South Africa's tax system is known as Value Added Tax (VAT) at a 14% rate on goods and services. Visitors leaving South Africa may claim back VAT on purchases from the VAT refund administrator available at the airports. Only after a passenger has checked in and passed through passport control is the value of the VAT (less the administrator's commission) paid back.
Temperatures in October range from a minimum of 9°C (48°F) to a maximum of 19°C (66°F).
No vaccinations are required for cholera or smallpox. If arriving from a yellow fever zone, you must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate.
Most restaurants do not add a service charge to their bills. It is customary to leave a 10-15% tip for service. Porters, parking and petrol station attendants should be given a contribution at your discretion.
Safety and Security
South Africa is as safe as any other destination in the world. Most parts of the country can be safely visited by tourists provided they take basic common-sense precautions (for example not walking alone in deserted areas at night).
The City of Cape Town has a security force of over 300 officers that visibly patrols the streets with the South African Police Service. Their efforts are aided with the best camera surveillance network system, which monitors the Central Business Districts 24-hours a day. The security at the Cape Town International Convention Centre is in line with international standards.