General Info & Visas

Banking and Currency


The monetary unit is the South African Rand (ZAR) and the international symbol is R.  R1 = 100 cents. Currency is issued in denominations of notes of R200, R100, R50, R20, R10 and coins. Please visit to convert your local currency.


Value added tax (VAT) is included in the price of most goods and services. Visitors are required to pay VAT on purchased goods. VAT refunds may be claimed at airports, harbour and custom offices on items taken out of the country when the total value exceeds R250.00. Customs officials will ask to see the items as well as their purchase slips when applying for a refund.


Banks are found in most towns and are generally open from 09h00 to 15h30 on weekdays and 08h30 to 11h00 on Saturdays (Closed Sundays and Public Holidays). Most of them offer foreign exchange services - with cash, bank & credit cards as well as travellers cheques. You can also obtain cash from automatic teller machines (ATMs). Several international banks have branches in the main city centres. Always advise your bank that you are travelling outside the country as they might block your purchases if they are not informed. 


The climate of Cape Town is Mediterranean, with very mild, rainy winters and warm to hot, sunny summers.
The city is located in the South African Republic, on the southwest coast.

In summer, temperatures are not excessively high because of the influence of the ocean, though sometimes a hot and dry wind called Berg, able to raise the temperature to around 35 °C (95 °F), blows from the mountains. On the contrary, a strong southern breeze called Cape Doctor often blows in summer, cooling and cleaning the air. Above the top of Table Mountain, the flat-topped mountain overlooking the city, about a thousand meters (3,300 feet) high, a layer of clouds often forms, which the city's inhabitants call in a colloquial manner "tablecloth".

Even though the winter is mild, there can be some cold and windy days. On the coldest nights of the year, the temperature can drop to around freezing. At other times, the warm wind from the northern mountains can blow in this season as well, so much so that the temperature can reach 30 °C (86 °F) even in winter.


South Africa is GMT+2 (2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time).

Example: 12h00 midday in South Africa, is:

  • 06h00 in New York, USA

  • 11h00 in London, UK

  • 12h00 midday in Paris, France

  • 20h00 in Sydney, Australia

Tipping / Gratuities

A 10% gratuity on the bill generally applies in restaurants and is normally at the discretion of the diner and dependent on the standard of service experienced. Restaurants usually do not include the tip in the bill unless the booking is for 10 or more people.


The electricity supply in South Africa is 220/230 volts AC 50Hz. Appliances of lesser voltage require a transformer (especially those with a heating element such as hairdryers).  Adapters are obtainable locally and, in most cases, available from your hotel concierge. Most hotel rooms have 110-volt outlets for electric shavers and small appliances.


South African tap water is completely safe to drink and quite palatable. Bottled water is also available from room service, restaurants and at retail outlets.


Smoking is prohibited by law in public areas throughout South Africa, including airports, shopping malls and restaurants.  Most public spaces have specially designated smoking areas.

Directions to UCT Graduate School of Business Conference

GPS: -33.907065,18.415537

Directions to Protea Hotel by Marriott® Breakwater Lodge from Cape Town International Airport:

  • Take the N2 from the Airport to Town

  • Carry on straight passed the Tsogo Sun Waterfront Hotel on your left and at the second set of traffic lights, turn right into Helen Suzman Boulevard

  • Take the right hand lane that leads to a small set of traffic lights leading into Portswood Road

  • Turn right into Portswood Road

  • The Conference Basement Parking can be reached by taking the first road on one’s right hand side.

  • Please follow the GSB signs until you reach the security boom

  • Hotel Guest Parking can be reached by taking the 2nd entrance on one’s right hand side when coming down Portswood Road (towards the Waterfront)