Cape Town is the quintessential melting pot: it is a city alive with creativity, colour, sounds, and tastes.
While walking through the City's streets and meeting its people, you will fall in love with its natural beauty, creative freedom, and incredible spirit. Cape Town is a city where the unexpected is always just around the corner and the beautiful province of the Western Cape lies ready to be explored across the city border.
Accommodation is available to suite all tastes and budgets, from luxury five-star establishments to modest guesthouses and bed and breakfasts. These have been pre-booked for the conference and delegates will be able to secure their choice of venue at preferential rates through the conference organisers.
A wide range of attractive tours and excursions will be on offer to visitors and these will be of a cultural, historical, and geographical nature. From townships to wildlife reserves, shopping malls to vineyards, there will be something to delight everyone.
We encourage you to participate on one of the arranged optional excursions. The experience will be unforgettable.
Currency and Banks
The unit of currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR) and is indicated with a capital R so that, for example, three Rand and fifty cents would be written R3.50. South Africa has a decimal currency system with one Rand equalling 100 cents. Denomination of Rand notes are R200, R100, R50, R20, and R10 and of the coins are R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c and 10c.
The following exchange rates were applicable as of 04 January 2023:
|1 United States Dollar = ZAR 16.81
||1 Euro = ZAR 17.85
Facilities for cashing traveller's cheques are available at banks (operating hours are Monday to Friday 09h00 - 15h30, Saturdays 08h30 - 11h00) and at most hotels. Banks are closed on Sundays. Foreign exchange agencies are open during the week and on Saturdays. Automatic teller machines (ATM) are open 24 hours and are located at most banks as well as at the conference Venue. International credit cards (Visa, Diners Club, MasterCard, and American Express) are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Price Guidelines (for illustration purposes only).
Prices will vary, but the following is an indication of what delegates might expect to pay:
|Tea or coffee
|Big Mac Burger
The electricity supply in South Africa is 220 - 240 volts, 50 Hz. The connection for appliances is a round three-pin plug. Most hotels provide dual-voltage two-pin razor sockets (100-120 volts and 220-240 volts).
There are no compulsory vaccination requirements for persons entering South Africa although a certificate for yellow fever may be required if you are entering from certain South American or sub-Saharan African countries. Certain parts of the country have been designated as malaria risk areas. If you intend travelling to one of these areas, it is essential that you take prophylaxis before arrival and whilst in the area. Protective clothing and insect repellents should also be used.
Cape Town is a malaria risk free area. South African doctors and dentists are highly trained professionals and hospitals are well equipped. Participants are requested to make their own arrangements with respect to health insurance prior to departure and consult their local general practitioner for personal expert advice. The South African National Travel Health Network (SaNTHNet) has been established to provide travellers with essential information related to health risks both locally and across borders. The website has regular updates on health risks, as well as providing general information related to vaccination requirements for various destinations.
For more information, please visit: https://www.santhnet.co.za/
It is safe to drink tap water throughout South Africa. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, this is readily available in various stores. Smoking is prohibited by law in most public buildings in South Africa (airports, shopping centres, restaurants etc.), except in designated smoking areas.
There are currently no Covid-19 restrictions applicable for entry into South Africa.
|NOT REQUIRED FOR ENTRY INTO SOUTH AFRICA
||Passenger Locator Form
The 14th International Polychaete Congress accepts no liability for any personal injury, loss, or damage of property belonging to or additional expenses incurred by conference participants either during the conference or as result of delays, strikes or any other circumstances. Participants are requested to make their own arrangements with respect of health, travel, and cancellation insurance.
The official Summit language will be English.
Passports and Visas
Every visitor to South Africa must have a valid passport.
Passport holders from more than 80 countries, including USA, Canada, UK, Japan, and the EU can visit South Africa without a visa. A list of countries that currently do not require a visa can be found at the SA Government website:
- Passengers travelling to South Africa must be in possession of a passport with two unused pages required for endorsements. The two unused pages when presented for purposes of endorsing a port of entry visa, visa, permanent residence permit, or entry of departure stamp.
- The passport must be machine readable however, the foreigner may be admitted into or depart from South Africa with a non-machine-readable passport provided that:
- He or she is from a foreign country that is issuing machine readable passports and has not completely phased out the non-machine-readable passports; and
- Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after your intended date of departure.
Information regarding visas can be obtained from your travel agent or the South African diplomatic or consular representative in your area. Delegates requiring visas, and who intend taking tours to neighbouring Southern African countries, are advised to secure a multiple entry visa. Tourists must satisfy immigration officers that they have the means of support for the duration of their stay in the country and return /onward tickets. Visas cannot be obtained on arrival.
If required, upon request, the Summit Secretariat is willing to send you a letter of invitation. It should be understood, that this letter will be sent only to help participants to raise travel funds or to obtain a visa. A letter of invitation is not a commitment on the part of the organisers to provide any financial support. Please note that only registered delegates who have paid their Summit registration fees will be issued with a letter of invitation.
UPDATED ADVISORY: REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILDREN TRAVELLING THROUGH SOUTH AFRICAN PORTS OF ENTRY
Revised: November 2019
The requirements for children travelling to or from the Republic of South Africa are aimed at giving effect to the Children's Act, 2005.
- APPLICATION OF THE REQUIREMENTS
||The documents listed under paragraph 2 must on request be produced at a port of entry by South African children entering and leaving the Republic, as well as by unaccompanied minors, regardless of their nationalities.
||Foreign children who apply for a South African visa at any mission or VFS service point must submit, as part of the applications, the documents required under paragraph 2 prior to such visa being issued.
- DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAVELLING THROUGH A PORT OF ENTRY OF THE REPUBLIC
||SOUTH AFRICAN CHILD
||FOREIGN VISA EXEMPT CHILD
|CHILD ACCOMPANIED BY BOTH PARENTS
- valid passport
- copy of a birth certificate / equivalent document or passport containing the details of the parent or parents of the child
|CHILD ACCOMPANIED BY ONE PARENT
- valid passport
- copy of a birth certificate/equivalent document
- parental consent letter
- copy of the passport / identity document of the absent parent
- contact details of the absent parent
- where applicable -
- copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child.
- copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent
|CHILD TRAVELLING WITH PERSON WHO IS NOT HIS / HER BIOLOGICAL PARENT
- valid passport
- copy of a birth certificate/equivalent document
- parental consent letter(s)
- copy of the passport(s)/ identity document(s) of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
- contact details of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
- where applicable -
- copy of a death certificate
- copy of an adoption order
- copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights / legal guardianship in respect of the child.
- copy of his /her birth certificate
- parental consent letters
- copy of the passport(s)/identity document(s) of the parent(s) / legal guardian(s)
- contact details of the parent(s)/ legal guardian(s)
- letter from the person who is to receive the child in the Republic, containing his / her residential address and contact details in the Republic where the child will reside
- copy of the identity document / valid passport and visa or permanent residence permit of the person who is to receive the child in the Republic
- where applicable -
- copy of an adoption order
- copy of a death certificate of the deceased parent/ parents or legal guardian;
- copy of a court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child
|CHILD IN ALTERNATIVE CARE
- valid passport
- letter from the Provincial Head of the Department of Social Development where the child resides authorising his or her departure from the Republic as contemplated in section 169 of the Children's Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).
||South African children travelling on South African passports may travel to South Africa without birth certificates.
||Supporting documents are not required where children are in direct transit at an international airport.
||Children in possession of valid South African visas are not required to produce the documents already submitted as part of their visa applications when travelling through a port of entry of the Republic.
||A child presenting a passport which contains the details of his or her parent or parents is not required to produce a birth certificate/equivalent document.
||In the case of school tours, the parental consent letter may be replaced with a letter from the school principal confirming that all consent letters are held by the school. Upon producing this letter, immigration officers at ports of entry and South African missions abroad would not require any additional documents from individual scholars such as parental consent, birth certificates, death certificates, court orders or copies of the passports or identity documents of the parents and of the person receiving the child in SA. This special dispensation applies to all schools registered with the Department of Basic Education in South Africa and its equivalent abroad. Download the suggested format for this letter here.
- INABILITY TO CONSENT DUE TO RECENT DEATH OR MENTAL OR PHYSICAL DISABILITY:
Where parent/s recorded in a BC/ equivalent document are unable to consent to the travel by a child due to recent death or mental or physical disability, persons acting on behalf of the child/children may apply for a special dispensation in lieu of parental consent by directing a request and full motivation, together with all supporting documents (for example, treating medical practitioners certificate), to the Office of the Director-General of Home Affairs, at the following e-mail address: email@example.com
- This dispensation only applies to incapacity, and not where a parent is either unwilling to consent or unable to be located due to separation or divorce.
- Where a parent refuses to give consent, a court order in terms of section 18(5) of the Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), may be presented in lieu of parental consent.
Section 167 of the Children's Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005), states that a child is in Alternative Care if the child has been placed in:
- foster care;
- the care of a child and youth care centre following an order of a court in terms of that Act or the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977); or
- temporary safe care.
- An extract from the Birth Register containing the particulars of a child and his / her parent(s).
Birth certificates containing the details of a child as well as his/her parent/s are accepted for the purposes of these Requirements regardless of the country of issue.
- In the case of countries that do not issue BC, an 'Equivalent Document' containing the particulars of the child and his / her parent/s, issued by the competent authority of that country, or an embassy of that country may be produced. Suggested format for Equivalent Document is available here.
- South African law regards any person younger than 18 years as a child.
- In the case of countries that endorse the particulars of parents in children's passports, or other official identification documents, these documents shall be acceptable for the purpose of establishing the identity of the parents of the travelling child.
|Letter of special Circumstances
- Letter issued by the Director-General of Home Affairs in lieu of parental consent in the event of recent death or mental or physical disability.
- Unless the context indicates otherwise, the word "parent" includes adoptive parents and legal guardians.
|Parental Consent Letter
- must accompany a BC when any parent is not travelling with his or her child;
- must not be older than 6 months when presented;
- Suggested format of the Parental Consent letter is available here: Parental Consent Letter
The organisers cannot assume liability for any changes in the programme due to external or unforeseen circumstances. Changes will be mentioned on message screens throughout the conference Centre.
Safety and Security
For those participants who have not previously visited South Africa, or Cape Town, and are concerned about personal safety, we wish to assure all visitors that Cape Town is like any other major city with good and bad areas. Common sense will ensure a trouble free and enjoyable conference and vacation. The area around the Cape Town International Convention Centre and adjacent hotels is safe, and well monitored, but we advise that you do not walk alone after dark in unpopulated streets. Ostentatious displays of wealth should be avoided all the time. During the Conference, the information desk at the venue and your hotel's concierge will be able to assist you with information on places to visit and the appropriate means of transport.
Shopping in Cape Town
Most shops in the city centre and suburbs open between 08h00 and 17h00 to 17h30. Shops in major shopping malls open at 09h00 and close at 21h00 or later (especially at the V&A Waterfront), even on Sundays and most public holidays. Government agencies keep to traditional weekday only hours. Most banks close at 15h30 and have limited Saturday morning opening times. Muslim-owned businesses close at noon on Fridays and re-open at 14h00.
International direct dialling, internet, and e-mail facilities are easily accessible in Cape Town. Most of the mobile telephone systems used around the globe operates in Cape Town. Local SIM Cards can be purchased at convenience stores or at the Airport on Arrival.
Gratuities are not obligatory but are expected in South Africa. A guideline for visitors is the following: Airport porters ZAR 20 per item, taxis 10%, waiters, and waitresses in restaurants 10%.
Cape Town is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+2GMT).
Most international traveller's cheques are accepted, provided they are in an acceptable currency and may be cashed at most banks. Many hotels and shops also provide this service. Please note that Credit Cards or Cash are generally a more acceptable form of payment.
VAT / Tax Refunds
VAT of 15% is levied on nearly all goods and services. Foreign tourists may claim back VAT paid on goods or products (not services) that will be taken out of the country. Original tax invoices, foreign passport, plus all the items on which a refund is claimed, must be presented at the VAT Refund Administration Office or an appointed RSA Customs and Excise Official on departure, and the total VAT on these items will be refunded.
Venue and Dates
STIAS: Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, 3 - 7 July 2023
10 Marais Road, Mostertsdrift, Stellenbosch, 7600
July is mid-winter in South Africa and the rainy season in Cape Town. Temperatures are between 11°C (52°F) and 20°c (68°F), and most days are a crisp but bearable 13°C (55°F). Rain falls an average of 10-11 days in the month. There is an occasional snow on the high-lying mountain regions outside of the city, and there are regular clear days in the Winelands where you can have lunch beside a fireplace with spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains and sprawling vines. It's also the greenest time of year, and while days are shorter, there are still around 10 hours of daylight every day. On clear days, hiking is incredible. There are waterfalls tucked away in iridescent green forests, and mornings often bring moody fog in from the sea. July is also peak whale season, when southern right and humpback whales can be seen calving in the shallow waters just offshore. Be sure to pack an umbrella, a warm coat, closed shoes and a raincoat.