Known as Joburg to the locals, Johannesburg is a little over 100 years old, the second largest city in Africa. From entertainment spots like casinos, nightlife clubs and bars to historical sites, the city of Johannesburg has everything that you have been looking for.
It’s the economic and cultural centre of South Africa, where people work hard and play harder. Everyone is on the move, from doing business to hitting the city’s nightspots until late. Joburg is a dynamic cosmopolitan city with great places to eat, interesting sites to visit and a good range of places to stay.
CURRENCY : South Africa’s unit of currency is the Rand, known informally as the “randela”. The currency code is ZAR and there are 100 cents in each rand. Banknotes are issued in denominations of R200, R100, R50, R20 and R10. Coins come in R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c units.
BANKING : South Africa has a modern and sophisticated banking system. Foreign currency can be exchanged at most retail banks and bureaux de change. Retail bank outlets can be found in all major shopping centres, and ATMs are available in malls, some supermarkets and at petrol stations. Major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted) can be used at most retail and hospitality establishments and to withdraw cash at ATMs.
VAT Value Added Tax (VAT) is an indirect tax of 14% levied on all consumer goods and services, except some basic foodstuffs. Price tags generally include VAT unless this amount is separately stated. Non-resident foreign passport holders visiting South Africa can claim a VAT refund – two refund offices are located in the international departures hall of O.R. Tambo International Airport. Present your purchases and tax invoices for inspection. See www.taxrefunds.co.za for more details.
Supplied at 220 volts and 50 hertz throughout South Africa, expect occasional shortages, and planned outages which are referred to as ‘loadshedding‘. Valuable electronics should be used in combination with a surge protector, available at large supermarkets, where you can also find converters for the bulky three-pronged plugs used locally.
Joburg can be the friendliest city but it also has a tempestuous streak. Be cautious and do not flash your cash or valuables around.