Basic Services

To obtain a cell phone contract and SIM card everyone must register in accordance with the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA).

ACCOMMODATION: All of South Africa’s major centres offer a wide variety of accommodation options from upmarket hotels to bed and breakfasts and self-catering apartments. Hostel-type accommodation for contract employees is less widely available.

FRESH WATER: South Africa has a modern water supply. The quality of the fresh water supply is of a very high standard and it is safe to drink the tap water. Supplies of fresh water are adequate and there are no restrictions on consumption although there is a sliding scale of tariffs for the use of water.

ELECTRICITY: Domestic and industrial electricity supply is 50 Hz generally at 220/380 v throughout the country. Electricity supplies in South Africa operate under strain and Eskom has been forced to implement scheduled load-shedding. Companies operating within the ports fall under National Key Point Areas and are therefore free from load-shedding.

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS: The national post office operates a spread of post offices throughout the country with post offices placed strategically around the city. Many leading international and a number of local courier services are in operation. Delivery by post or by courier conforms to international norms respectively.

Fixed line phones, mobile (cell) phones, Internet and email are all available. Submarine cable and satellite networks provide international communications. SAT2 fibre optic submarine cable links Cape Town to Europe and the USA and this system is being extended to the Far East. Mobile networks are based on the international GSM standard and 3G data networks are widely available. LTE data networks are being introduced.

Foreigners can obtain pay-as-you-go SIM cards or 24-month contracts from these operators, but will have to register in accordance with the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA). As such, a valid passport and proof of address (from hotel or accommodation provider) must be provided when purchasing a SIM card or data package.