Gauteng is one of nine provinces in South Africa, and boasts a rich history largely based on the foundation of a precious resource – gold. Because of this, it’s a powerhouse province and South Africa’s economic hub, accounting for a third of the country’s gross domestic product. Gauteng is where time is money and dreams are realised.
Although the country’s smallest province, it is its most densely populated.
Energetic, creative, culturally diverse and authentic, Gauteng is where it all starts. The Gauteng Convention & Events Bureau (GCEB), a business unit within the Gauteng Tourism Authority, is dedicated to supporting the business events sector and implementing strategic initiatives to ensure that it continues to market and position the region as one of the world’s top meetings destinations.
The GCEB works in close partnership with key industry role-players, marketing Gauteng as a business hub, as well as an attractive and versatile meetings destination.
Gauteng Tourism is building and sustaining a common brand identity for the province and is proactively marketing the Gauteng regions (Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Sedibeng, West Rand and Tshwane) as preferred leisure, business and events destinations.
While French and German are becoming increasingly common with immigration from Europe as well as West and Central Africa, the business language of South Africa is English.
Gauteng has sunny days and, less frequently, not-so-sunny days. The seasons mostly blend into each other, with summer stretching from November to March and milder temperatures setting in from April to May. Winter starts in June and lasts until August. Spring (September and October) is brief, and you’ll know it by the distinctive purple haze that the blooming jacaranda trees cast across the city’s northern suburbs.
Summer temperatures average 25°C (77°F), with winter days dropping to a low of around 15°C (59°F). Winter nights can dip to 4°C (39°F). Gautengers feel the cold quite intensely. Summer is when it rains and Gauteng has trademark afternoon thundershowers, with spectacular lightning displays and the occasional rainbow to match.
Value for money
The destination is recognised internationally as one of the most affordable business tourism and incentive travel destinations in the world.
- Foreign currency can be exchanged at commercial banks and at various Bureaux de Change.
- The Rand is the official currency in South Africa.
- Banks are open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday banks typically open between 9am and 3pm; on Saturday opening hours are between 9am and 11am
- Majority of goods sold in South Africa is subject to a 14% Value Added Tax (VAT). Tourists are not exempt from paying VAT. However, they can claim back the VAT portion if the value of the goods bought exceeds a certain amount – currently, R250.
- To claim the VAT, the goods must be taken out of the country within 90 days from the date of purchase. The goods must be presented for inspection on departure and accompanied with a tax invoice. The invoice should contain the usual information (name of the seller, seller’s VAT registration number, description of goods, the price and the VAT amount). If the value of the goods on any single invoice exceed a certain amount (currently R2000), the buyer’s name and address should also appear on the invoice or on the credit card payment slip.
- Visitors who wish to claim VAT should go to the VAT refund administration office or customs official at the port of exit. If a tourist leaves South Africa without claiming a VAT refund, it is still possible to do it, but the procedure is more involved. Such a claim must be lodged within three months from the date of export.
- There is no VAT exemption on eating, drinking, or going out in South Africa; goods consumed or services rendered in the country do not qualify for VAT refunds.
Internet & wireless connectivity
South Africa offers an internet network and Wireless (Wi-Fi) is readily available throughout the city. Most of the hotels will offer Wi-Fi connectivity.
A variety of mobile networks are available in South Africa and local Sim cards are available at airports and major shopping centres.
- 240 volts AC
- For small appliances, a plug adaptor may be needed for three pin sockets.
- Distances are measured in kilometres and metres
- Temperature is indicated in centigrade (Celsius)
- Kilograms and grams are used to indicate weight
- An international driver’s licence is required when driving around South Africa.
- Driving is on the left and speed limits are in kilometres.
- The region’s superior water supply infrastructure guarantees some of the best water in the world
- Spring water is available bottled
- South African Time is set at GMT +2.
- There are no time zone differences within South Africa and there is no daylight saving system in summer.