When planning a budget to visit South Africa you will be quite surprised how far the world’s hard currencies like pounds, dollars and euros can go with the favourable exchange rate against the South African Rand. Even five-star luxury is very affordable on the South African holiday budget.
The Big Mac index is very helpful when planning your holiday budget for South Africa. Remember to include money for tips, curious, meals, mobile phone hire if you’re not using roaming on your own phone and if you are driving remember to also think of money for tollgates.
For tips, budget 10% of the total cost, R100 to R500 for curious, R50 – R90 for a takeaway meal per person, R100 – R250 per person for a restaurant meal, R50 – R120 for a bottle of wine, R30 – R80 for a cocktail and about R15 – R25 for a beer in a restaurant. Tollgate fees when driving can vary from around R7 to R40 depending on the route you’re on.
- You will find 100 cents in one rand.
- Coins come in denominations of 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2 and R5
- Notes come in denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200
- Travellers’ can be used in some hotels, be exchange in banks and bureaux de changes but it is suggested to bring them in hard currencies.
- You can also withdraw money at an automated teller machine (ATM) of which there are many of countrywide.
- The main banks in South Africa are Absa, First National Bank, Nedbank, Standard Bank and Capitec.
- Banking hours are generally from 09:00 – 15:30 on weekdays and from 08:30 – 11:00 on Saturday.
- All major credit cards are accepted in the country, particularly Visa and MasterCard and most of the bigger companies also accept American Express and Diners Club.
- Most retail purchases carry a VAT levy of 14%, which can be refunded to foreign tourists at departure points at the airports, subject to stipulated amounts spent, completion of the necessary forms and by presenting the original tax invoices.