Europe, Middle East and Africa

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General Information - South Africa and Cape Town


The two most commonly spoken languages in Cape Town are English and Afrikaans.  

The CTICC venue and local hotels are all highly experienced with international and European visitors attending events in the City, so all EMEARC delegates will receive a warm welcome and any language issues will soon be resolved. The EMEARC Event Team who will be on site also have various language skills, including French, German and Dutch.

To help you along the way here are a few local phrases to get you started:

English Afrikaans isiXHOSA
Cape Town Kaapstad eKapa
Good Morning Goeie môre Molo/Molweni (pl.)
Goodbye Totsiens Hambe kahle
Thank you Dankie Enkosi
Yes Ja Ewe
No Nee Hayi
How much? Hoeveel? Yimalini le?
Expensive Duur iDhulu
Hot Warm Shushu
Cold Koud Banda
Friend Vriend Umhlobo
Good/Okay Lekker kulungile
Excuse me Skuus Uxolo
How are you? Hoe gaan dit? Uphilile?

Health and Safety

When visiting any major city, visitors should take certain health and safety precautions. Cape Town is no different. To make your visit as enjoyable as possible, here are some basic tips:

Health Tips

  • High-quality tap (faucet) water is available across the city and it is both palatable and safe to drink straight from the tap.
  • The quality of the food is excellent, and Cape Town has some of the top restaurants in the world.
  • Medical facilities in Cape Town are world-class. There is an excellent network of both state and private hospitals. 
  • Cape Town has a warm sunny climate and you should wear sunscreen and a hat whenever you are out of doors during the day, particularly between 10am and 4pm.
  • If you're an adult, you won't need any inoculations unless you're travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area (the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America), in which case you will need certification to prove your inoculation status when you arrive in the country.
  • Cape Town is not a malaria area.

Security Tips

As with travelling to any major city across the world you will need to take sensible precautions in order to have a trouble free trip. 

Such as...

  • Whilst the Waterfront area is a safe place to walk around at any time, common wisdom suggests that other areas of the city should not be explored at night. 
  • Heed the advice of your hosts and OCLC staff if you wish to explore the city further.
  • At night, park in a secure, well-lit area
  • If you are driving ensure all of your doors are locked

To report any safety incident, phone the following numbers:

  • All emergencies from your mobile/cell phone – 112
  • All emergencies from a landline – 107
  • South African Police Services (SAPS) – 10111

Cape Town Tourism in partnership with Protection and Emergency Services run a successful Visitor Support Programme to assist you further, should you be involved in an incident. For more information, contact Sonya Hector by phoning +27 21 487 6800 or sending an email to



Cape Town has a climate similar to that of California and the Mediterranean. Winter starts in May and ends in September and is generally a wet and windy season. Temperatures are cool and end to range between 7°C (45°F) and 17°C (63°F). Summer lasts from November to March and temperatures range between 19°C (66°F) and 35°C (95°F). The summer season is usually hot and sunny. It can be windy, but it doesn’t bring much rain.


Cape Town lies in the GMT +2 time zone and does not have daylight saving time.

Monetary information

The currency is the rand (ZAR). The South African exchange rate is favourable to most currencies, including the pound, euro and dollar. Most restaurants, shops and hotels accept major international credit cards.

Exchange Rates

Foreign exchange facilities are widely available and can be found at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town International Airport and at Bureaux de Change in various major shopping centres.

VAT: South Africa has a Value Added Tax system of 14% on purchases and services. Foreign visitors can reclaim VAT on collective purchases of more than R250. VAT Refund Offices can be found at: Ground level, International Departures, Cape Town International Airport Tel: + 27 21 934 8675. Ground Floor, Clock Tower Shopping Centre, V&A Waterfront.


A 10% tip is standard in restaurants. Tables of over eight people often have an automatic service charge added to the bill. A tip of R5 to R10 per piece of luggage is acceptable for porters in hotels and at airports. In some shopping areas, uniformed attendants will either take a fee or offer to mind your car for a tip.

It is not obligatory to tip an informal ‘car guard’ for services rendered. If you choose to tip, that is permissible, but informal guards are not allowed to ask for money, either before or after the service is supplied. A tip of R1 to R5 is acceptable.

When parking in metered bays in the CBD (Central Business District), parking marshals wearing luminous bibs will approach you and ask you how long you intend to stay. You can pay by the half-hour in advance, and pay the balance upon your return if necessary.

If you take a taxi from the airport to your hotel, a tip in the region of 5-10 Zar would be acceptable.


South Africa operates on a 220/230V AC system and plugs have three round prongs.


Country code: 0027

City code: 021




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