Conference Venues in South Africa / Conferencing and Business
Helping you to find places to meet and think
Conference Organisers
Multi-Media Equipment
Corporate Gifts
Car Hire
Taxi Service
Decor Hire
Brochure Design

ABOUT SOUTH AFRICA / Facts and Figures
 Full Name
The Republic of South Africa
1,233,404 sq km
476,217 sq miles
 Capital City
Pretoria (official)
Bloemfontein (judicial)
Cape Town (legislative)
46 Million
 Time Zone


 Daylight Saving
not in use
 Country Dialing Code
 General Info

South Africa is an exhilarating, spectacular and complex country... With its post-apartheid identity still in the process of definition, there is undoubtedly an abundance of energy and sense of progress about the place. Travelers too are returning to a remarkable land that has been off the trail for way too long.

The infrastructure is constantly improving, the climate is kind and there are few better places to see Africa’s wildlife. But if you want to understand the country, you’ll have to deal with the full spectrum. Poverty, the AIDS pandemic and violence remain a problem.

South Africa is fondly known as the Rainbow Country because of its diversity of people, cultures and natural scenery. The South African nation comprises people of San (or Bushman), Nguni, Sotho-Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Indian, Afrikaner and mixed origin, as well as immigrant communities from all corners of the world. Officially the population consists of more than 40 million people.

It is a country where a bright future awaits anyone who is skilled and committed to hard work. For older people it is also an ideal place to retire. The favorable exchange rate, good weather and excellent medical facilities will ensure their care-free future.

The Republic of South Africa has common boundaries with Namibia, the Republics of Botswana and Zimbabwe, while the Republic of Mozambique and the Kingdom of Swaziland lie to its north-east. The Kingdom of Lesotho is completely enclosed by South African territory. To the west, south and east, South Africa borders on the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans respectively.

 There are nine provinces in South Africa:
Eastern Cape (capital: Bisho)
Free State (capital: Bloemfontein)
Gauteng (capital: Johannesburg)
KwaZulu-Natal (capitals: Pietermaritzburg and Ulundi)
Limpopo (capital: Polokwane)
Mpumalanga (capital: Nelspruit)
Northern Cape (capital: Kimberley)
North-West (capital: Mafikeng)
Western Cape (capital: Cape Town)
Malaria and bilharzia are diseases endemic to certain parts of South Africa. Before visiting the country, foreigners are advised to take precautions in this regard and it is recommended to take out medical insurance before their trip.

According to the United Nations AIDS Report, released in June 1998, South Africa is the country with the fastest growing number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world. Approximately 8,6% of the total population is estimated to be HIV positive, with more than 1 500 new infections occurring daily. An aggressive media campaign educates society about the disease and all blood products are screened by health services to prevent accidental infection of patients.

A toll-free HIV/AIDS helpline exists at 0800-012-322.


According to the national census of October 1996, the five most commonly-spoken home languages are IsiZulu (22,9%), IsiXhosa (17,9%), Afrikaans (14,4%), Sepedi (9,2%) and English (8,6%). The Constitution recognises 11 languages as official languages at national level, namely the 5 above, as well as IsiNdebele, Sesotho, SiSwati, Xitsonga, Tshivenda en Setswana.

English and Afrikaans are the most commonly used languages in official circles and the business world. Immigrants should have a good knowledge of at least one of the two in order to cope with life in South Africa. Please note that South Africa does not offer compulsory/sponsored/intensive language courses for immigrants. It is up to individuals to study the languages of their choice and they have to pay for tuition themselves.

Holidaymakers and visitors who do not speak English fluently need not worry. Most shopkeepers speak several languages and will always ‘make a plan’ to help.


Major South African centres are linked by reliable air, rail and road transport services. Public transport services within towns and cities are irregular though. Taxis are extremely expensive and most South Africans therefore have to depend on their own means of transport.

South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road. Generally the speed limits range from 60km/h in residential areas to a maximum of 120km/h on national highways. Pay attention to the signs in this regard.

Rental vehicles are available in all major South African centres.

 South Africa’s weather & climate…

South Africa is famous for its sunshine. It’s a relatively dry country, with an average annual rainfall of about 464mm (compared to a world average of about 860mm). While the Western Cape gets most of its rainfall in winter, the rest of the country is generally a summer-rainfall region.

At the same time, temperatures in South Africa tend to be lower than in other countries at similar latitudes - such as Australia - due mainly to greater elevation above sea level.

On the interior plateau the altitude - Johannesburg lies at 1 694 metres - keeps the average summer temperatures below 30 degrees Celsius. In winter, for the same reason, night-time temperatures can drop to freezing point, in some places lower.

South Africa’s coastal regions are therefore warmest in winter. There is, however, a striking contrast between temperatures on the country’s east and west coasts, due respectively to the warm Agulhas and cold Benguela Currents that sweep the coastlines.

Being in the southern hemisphere, our seasons stand in opposition to those of Europe and North America, so, yes - we spend Christmas on the beach.

Over much of South Africa, summer (mid-October to mid-February) is characterised by hot, sunny weather - often with afternoon thunderstorms that clear quickly, leaving a warm, earthy, uniquely African smell in the air. The Western Cape, with its Mediterranean climate, is the exception, getting its rain in winter.
Autumn (fall) in South Africa (mid-February to April) offers in some ways the best weather. Very little rain falls over the whole country, and it is warm but not too hot, getting colder as the season progresses. In Cape Town, autumn is fantastic, with hot sunny days and warm, balmy nights which many people spend at outdoor cafés.
Winter in South Africa (May to July) is characterised in the higher-lying areas of the interior plateau by dry, sunny, crisp days and cold nights. So it’s a good idea to bring warm clothes. The hot, humid KwaZulu-Natal coast, as well as the Lowveld (lower-lying areas) of Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, offer fantastic winter weather with sunny, warmish days and virtually no wind or rain. The Western Cape gets most of its rain in winter, with quite a few days of cloudy, rainy weather. However, these are always interspersed with wonderful days to rival the best of a British summer. The high mountains of the Cape and the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal usually get snow in winter.
Nowhere in South Africa is spring (August to mid-October) more spectacular than in the Cape provinces. Here the grey winter is forgotten as thousands of small, otherwise insignificant plants cover the plains in an iridescent carpet of flowers.

The journey to see the flowers of the Namaqualand in the Western and Northern Cape is an annual pilgrimage for many South Africans. A subtropical location, moderated by ocean on three sides of the country and the altitude of the interior plateau, account for the warm temperate conditions so typical of South Africa - and so popular with its foreign visitors. Remember, South Africa is a drought-stricken country. Always close taps/faucets after use.


2006 All Rights Reserved, a Division of Limelight Websites