South Africa

Home  //  South Africa
Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is 1 233 404km² in size and is edged on three sides by nearly 3 000km of coastline, with the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The country is bordered in the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and also encloses two independent countries, the kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland.

South Africa has three capitals: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).


The population of South Africa is estimated to be 60,6 million by the end of June 2022, according to Statistics South Africa, of varying origins, cultures, languages and religions. At the last count, 79,2% are African, 8,9% ‘coloured’ (a term used to describe people of mixed race), 8,9% white, and 2,5% Indian. Just over half the population is female.


South Africa is known for its long sunny days. Most of the nine provinces have summer rainfall, except for the Western Cape, which experiences winter rainfall. The South African Weather Service uses the following dates for seasons:

  • Spring: September, October, November
  • Summer: December through February
  • Autumn: March, April, May
  • Winter: June through August


There are nine provinces in South Africa, namely the: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape.


South Africa has a well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas.


South Africa is a multilingual country with 11 official languages, namely: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Although only about 10% of the population has English as its mother tongue, English is the language most widely understood, and is the second language of the majority of South Africans.


About 80% of South Africa’s population is Christian. Other major religious groups include Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists. A minority does not belong to any of the major religions. South Africa’s Constitution guarantees freedom of worship.


For visa requirements, please contact your nearest South African diplomatic mission. South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all foreign visitors and citizens over one year of age travelling from an infected area or having been in transit through infected areas. Infected areas include Zambia and Angola in southern Africa.


South Africa’s three major international airports are OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg; Cape Town International Airport; and King Shaka International Airport in Durban. There are also several regional airports.


There are many world-class private hospitals and medical centres around the country, especially in the urban areas, while many state hospitals also offer excellent care, among them Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.


Most of South Africa is malaria-free, but if you are visiting the Kruger National Park or low-lying parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal, be aware that you are entering malarial areas and should take precautions in the form of prophylactic medication.


Please use common sense and take basic safety precautions. Keep valuables locked away and don’t wear expensive watches or jewellery, flash expensive cameras, or walk in deserted areas. Keep car doors and windows locked at all times. If in doubt, ask a guide or at your accommodation for safety guidelines.


As a rough guide, add 10% to 15% of your bill for the waitron in a restaurant.

Covid-19 Guidelines

The South African Government strictly adheres to international protocols of Covid-19. Since the advent of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the country has seen relatively low numbers of hospitalisations and declining mortality. Furthermore, observations have been made that the virus is manageable owing to low levels of morbidity amongst those who are vaccinated.

South Africa currently has no Covid-19 restrictions. However, the country’s vigilance has not been lowered and regular monitoring and updates are still being conducted.

The Electoral Commission of South Africa will put facilities in place to ensure optimum compliance with the Covid-19 regulations applicable at the time of the event to guarantee the safety of delegates.