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South African Facts

President:     Mr. Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
(since 9 May 2009)
Capitals:     Pretoria (administrative)
Cape Town (legislative)
Bloemfontein (judicial)
Population:     48,810,427 (July 2012 est.)
Area:     1,219,090 sq. km
Timezone:     GMT +2 hours
SA Location
SA Flag
Questions and Answers

How do South Africans generally adapt in Doha?
Answer: Very good, there is over 3000 of us here in Qatar, and we have various activities (see the Social Events and Coffee Shoppe pages) from time to time. It is really up to the individuals and their own attitudes. This is a friendly environment, different to back home, yet an adventure and new experience.

Question: What items are prohibited imports into Qatar?
Answer: Qatar customs will not allow you to bring the following items:
- Weapons and ammunition
- Fireworks
- Obscene pictures or magazines
- Narcotics and dangerous drugs
- Counterfeit coins and/or bank notes
- Alcohol or pork products.

Click here for more answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
Table Mountain (c) N.Traut
Table Mountain, Cape Town
      The Republic of South Africa
Flag:     SA Flag
South Africa has a perennially sunny climate, but the sun can be extremely fierce. Midsummer occurs in December & January, midwinter in June & July.
For up-to-date weather in South Africa - click here.
The currency is the South African Rand (R) and the international symbol is ZAR. R1 = 100 cents.

For current exchange rates - click here.
South Africa has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sepedi, Sesotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Setswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. However, English is understood and used by most people.
The majority of South Africans adhere to the Christian faith. Other major religious groups are Muslims, Jews and Hindus. Freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution.
National holiday:    
Freedom Day: 27 April (1994)
All visitors require a valid passport for entry into South Africa. Entry is regulated by the Department of Home Affairs.
The need to acquire a visa depends on nationality and the purpose and duration of visit.
For more information on visas – click here.
Custom regulations:    
Duty-free gifts and souvenirs to the value of R1 250 plus 400 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 250 grams of tobacco, 2 litres of wine, 1 litre of other alcoholic beverages, 50ml of perfume, and 250ml of toilet water are allowed into South Africa without incurring duties. Thereafter duty is levied at 20%. The alcohol and tobacco allowance applies only to people over 18.
For more information on custom regulations – click here.
Hours for business:    
While most government offices are open from 08:00 to 16:30 from Monday to Friday, businesses are mostly open from 09:00 through approximately 17:30 from Monday to Friday, as well as for varying times on Saturday.
Generally speaking shopping malls and large businesses are open from 08:00 to around 20:00 from Monday to Saturday, with a smaller selection of shops inside such malls adopting different business hours. A variety of businesses (mainly in the supermarket category) are also open on Sundays.
Banks -     08:30 to 15:30 - Monday to Friday
08:30 to 11:00 - Saturday
ATMS are available everywhere.
Rules of the Road:    
The basic rule of the road is: drive on the left-hand side of the road and give way to vehicles approaching from the right.
The general speed limit on national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120km/h. On secondary roads it is 100km/h, and in residential areas 60km/h, unless otherwise indicated.
Drivers must be in possession of a valid international driver's licence. The use of seatbelts is mandatory.
Main Cities:     Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth.
South Africa has nine provinces. They are Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, and Western Cape.
International Airports:     Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and George.
Ports:     Richards Bay, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay, Cape Town and Saldanha.
220/230 volts AC, 50Hz. Appliances of lesser voltage require a transformer. Adapters are obtainable locally.
Weights & measures:     Metric