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When Traveling To South Africa See These Money Matters
Traveling to South Africa on holiday and spending your money there please please take note of the following. At the southernmost tip of the African continent, the Republic of South Africa (RZA) is flanked in the west by the Atlantic Ocean, in the south and east by the Indian Ocean, in the north by Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and in the north-east by Mozambique and Swaziland.

South African Currency

One Rand (R) = 100 cents (c). Bank Notes: R200, R100, R50, R20, R10 Coins: R5, R2, R1, 50c 20c, 10c, 5c, 2c, & 1c. Currency exchange rates are available at all banks, shopping centers as well as in daily newspapers. It is even possible to be sent to you via your cell-phone. Please note the currency converter in the left column.

Traveler's Cheques

Traveler's Cheques are generally accepted, assuming that the cheques are made out in a valid currency and can be exchanged at South African banks and foreign exchange offices. Many shops and hotels also accept traveler cheques. It is best to find out at your bank which traveler's cheques are acceptable in South Africa.

Credit Cards

Euro master cards and other credit cards are valid in South Africa. Be aware that with Master cards you can withdraw a maximum of 1000 Dollars cash per week. We advise people to make sure that they have other possibilities to get hold of money if needed. Best is to get information from your bank.

VAT Refund (Value Added Tax - 14%)

Goods bought in South Africa exceeding R250 allow all tourists to receive a refund of the tax at the airport on their way out. It is advisable to plan an extra hour at the airport for tax refunds, and the best is to have the goods with their receipts ready for the controlling officer.

Gratuity to People in the Service Industry

Many waitresses are students who rely on tips to supplement their wages. We recommend a 10% tip of the total sum for Taxi Drivers or Waitresses. A waitress generally does NOT receive a basic salary, and has to pay for any breakages occurring. The cleaning staff generally gets R10 off the waiters tip at the end of the evening. A lot of the students use that money to pay for their studies or help to pay for their families.

Be aware that big groups at Restaurants might incur a 10% surcharge. In Town you will find people wanting to assist you with parking as well as watching your car. Please don't see this as pestering. The best is to ask for their name, thank him or her and tip him at the end of the night with R1 or R2.

General Safety Information

Crime in South Africa happens like everywhere in the world. South Africa's media exaggerates crime a lot in order to make people aware of looking after themselves and their goods. The best advice is to avoid walking at night and driving into areas that are unknown to you. Johannesburg is the place to be most careful.

Never accept any help from strangers at ATM's (Automated Teller Machines). Try to stand as close as possible to the machine to avoid strangers seeing your pin number. It is safest to never let your credit card out of your sight, especially in restaurants etc. In case of a lost or stolen card, report the theft as soon as possible at any police station and stop your card at your bank. We all know that these incidences happen all over the world not only in Cape Town.

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About the Author
Gerald Crawford was born in South Africa, studied electronics, telecommunication, eco-travel and african travel concepts. He taught responsible tourism in South Africa. If you have any questions or comments please e-mail me on. E-mail address: southafricantravelarticles@12234455.co.za. Website address: www.12234455.co.za.
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