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General information about South Africa

General information about South Africa

People and culture

South Africa, a country rich in diversity and often referred to as the Rainbow Nation, a term that was coined by the former Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has a population of approximately 60 million people. There are eleven official languages spoken in South Africa and those include: isiZulu, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, English, SeTswana, SeSotho, SeSotho sa Leboa, xiTsonga, siSwati, TshiVenda and isiNdebele. South Africa is rich in culture, art, dance, music and with various traditional food that represent its diversity of culture and life.

Weather and climate

Gauteng weather and climate

South Africa has four seasonal patterns, which are spring to summer between August and January, and autumn to winter between February and July. Gauteng offers one of the world’s best climates - summer days are warm and wind free, and winter days are crisp and clear. Johannesburg and Pretoria differ in temperature by about 2% (Pretoria being the warmer of the two).

Annual weather averages. January is the hottest month in Pretoria and the northern parts with an average temperature of 78.1°F (25.6°C) and the coldest is June at 61°F (16°C). Johannesburg is normally mild due to the city's high elevation, with an average maximum daytime temperature in January of 24°C (74°F), dropping to an average maximum of around 54°F (12°C) in June. For more information, please click here

Shopping experience

Shopping in South Africa provides similar if not the same experience as that provided by shopping centres and malls found in major cities around the world. There is a strong retail market, includes several malls and shopping centres such as Mall of Africa, Sandton City and Menlyn Mall. In addition, there are Spaza shops (corner/neighbourhood shops) in townships and flea markets in townships and popular tourist areas. For more information, please visit or

Banking services

South Africa is also renowned for providing one of the best banking services in the world. The banks provide all kinds of services including merchant banking, cash management, personal and business banking. Visitors will need to provide, among others, a valid passport, valid permit and proof of residence, as required by the bank. South Africa has a number of banks:

Additional information at

Health and safety

South Africa has a large number of public hospitals and clinics that operate 24 hours a day. Travellers may visit the National Department of Health website to check and confirm information concerning health and safety issues in South Africa.  

Last modified: 2023/04/12