Official Language

South Africa has 11 official languages but at the Conference only ENGLISH will be spoken. No simultaneous translation will be provided.

Medical Service

Mediclinic Stellenbosch is a 24-hour emergency centre and is constantly manned by a professional, multidisciplinary team who are trained in life-saving techniques and supported by state-of-the-art technology. A specialist rota enables the doctor on duty to call upon a wide spectrum of specialist advice and support.

Physical address: Cnr Saffraan & Rokewood Avenue, Stellenbosch, Tel: +27 21 861 2000

Click here for Mediclinic Stellenbosch information.

Personal Safety

For tourists, South Africa is as safe as any other destination in the world. South Africa boasts a vast array of cultures, communities, sites and attractions. 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 and being circumspect about how much photographic equipment or flashy jewellery you carry).

Click here for more safety information.


Malaria is found only in the far north-east of the country. Malaria is not much of a risk in the winter months from May to July. Although the incidence of malaria is rare, it would be best to take adequate precautions if you choose to visit these areas. The cheapest, safest and most effective measures against malaria are physical barriers such as a mosquito net, and the use of a good insect repellent. If you decide to take malaria prophylaxis, it is essential that you take the medication according to the directions on the package insert. It is advisable to consult a medical professional before embarking on a course of malaria prophylaxis. Note that expectant mothers should avoid malaria medications.

Cick here for more malaria information.

Food and Water

As a rule, tap water in South Africa is safe to drink as it is treated and is free of harmful micro-organisms. In hotels, restaurants and nightspots, the standards of hygiene and food preparation is top-notch. It is safe to eat fresh fruit and salads and to put as much ice as you like in your drinks.

Road Safety

Our transport infrastructure is excellent and our roads are in good condition.

We have very strict drinking and driving laws - with a maximum allowable alcohol blood content of 0.05%. Translated that means about one glass of wine for the average woman and perhaps 1.5 or two for the average large man. Out speed limits are 120 kmph on the open road, 100 kmph on smaller roads and between 60 and 80 kmph in towns.

Click here for more road safety information.


All visitors intending to drive are required to obtain an international drivers permit, visitors found driving without a permit will be fined and not permitted to continue on their journey. Visitors will also not be able to rent a car without a valid driver's permit. The wearing of seatbelts is compulsory and strictly enforced by law. Speaking on mobile phones whilst driving is only allowed via a hand-free kit. South Africans drive on the left hand side of the road.

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Visitors who are entering South Africa from a yellow fever zone must have a valid international yellow fever inoculation certificate. Only infants under the age of one year are exempt. Immunisation against cholera and smallpox are not required and no other vaccinations are required when visiting South Africa.

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The rand (sign: R; code: ZAR) is the currency of South Africa. The current exchange rate can be confirmed at: Currency Converter
Guest houses, hotels, restaurants and shops generally may accept international credit cards including Visa, American Express, Diners Club and Master Card.


South Africa has adopted a Value Added Tax system of 14% on purchases, and services. If you are a foreign visitor to South Africa, you can reclaim your VAT on purchasesif you have spent more than R250 on items you are taking out of the country. Below are some places this can be done:
  • If you go to the VAT office at the Airport International Departures Hall, leave yourself some time - you will need your original tax invoices, and your passport, fill in a form and have the goods you bought available for inspection;
  • Otherwise, you may go to the Victoria & Alfred Shopping Centre in the Waterfront. The office is in the Kings Warehouse, under the Nu-Metro cinemas. It is open from 08H00-21H00.

Clothing & Weather

The seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are directly opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere. For summer months, lightweight (cottons and linens), short-sleeved clothes are best, although a light jersey/jumper might be needed for the cooler evenings. Warmer clothes are needed for winter months. Summery months are from September to April. Daytime summer temperatures range from 25°C to 34°C and in winter, between 14°C and 20°C.


  • The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 Hz.
  • Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins. If an adaptor is called for, consider brining one with you, although they can be purchased locally.
  • US-made appliances may need a transformer.
  • Most hotel/guest house rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and appliances.

Time Zone

South Africa operates two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, making it an hour ahead of Central European Winter Time, seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time and seven hours behind Australian Central Time.

Places of Worship

Stellenbosch offers a variety of options for students from different faith communities. The town has numerous churches, as well as a synagogue (44 Ryneveld Street, Stellenbosch) and mosque (Banghoek Road, Stellenbosch).