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o Travelling from Zambia to South Africa
o Staying in South Africa after visa expires
o Mobile phone pre-paid packages and prices in South Africa
o Cheap accommodation in Johannesburg
o Buying a car in South Africa
Travelling from Zambia to South Africa
Here is some info about the prices in July'04 for the transport form Zambia to South Africa:

* Lusaka - Johannesburg
. 170'000 or 220'000 Kvacha (~35$ or ~45$, depends which company you choose). Most of them have offices in InterCity bus station in Lusaka. One of the best companies "Linking Africa" have office a bit south from Cairo Road, next to the Chinese Restaurant "Grate Wall" (or similar name). These buses travel via Zimbabwe, which means the one needs Zimbabwian visa (~45$). Here is the information about which countries need visas and where to get them: Zim visas.
* Lusaka - Gaborone. Price is ~35$-40$.

(For the plane expect to spent additional 20$-30$ in the airport for so called "departure tax")
* Lusaka - Johannesburg. South African airlines - ~220$ one way.
* Livingstone - Johannesburg. NationWide Airlines ~115$ one way.
by augustas, created: 30/11/2004 [botswana, south africa, zambia, zimbabwe]
Staying in South Africa after visa expires
Some of my German friends tried to risk leaving South Arfica (in Oct'04) after their stamp in the passport, which allows to stay in the country 3 months, expired. The punishment was paying 1'000 RAND (~130 EUR) at the airport.
by augustas, created: 30/11/2004 [south africa]
Mobile phone pre-paid packages and prices in South Africa
Statistics about SA mobile operators:


For all GSM providers PEAK TIME hours: Monday to Friday, 7am to 8pm.
The rest - OFF PEAK.

Overview of Pre-paid packages of 3 GSM providers (MTN, Vodacom, Cell C) in South Africa.
The information below was collected in March 2004.

=-=-= CLASSIC =-=-=
[fewer calls during the peak offs] Charged for full minute.
R 2,60 /min - 0.32 eur/min (PEAK)
R 1,40 /min - 0.17 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
MTN to other
R 2,85 /min - 0.35 eur/min (PEAK)
R 1,55 /min - 0.19 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
SMS text messages: 86c - 0.11 eur (ALL DAY)
International SMS text messages: R 1,58 - 0.19 eur (ALL DAY)

[a lot short calls and a lot off peak SMSs] Charged per second.

MTN to MTN and Telkom
6c /sec - 0.007 eur/sec = 0,42 eur/min (PEAK)
1,65c /sec - 0.002 eur/sec = 0,12 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
MTN to Other
6c /sec - 0.007 eur/sec = 0,42 eur/min (PEAK)
1,83c /sec - 0.0022 eur/sec = 0,13 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
SMS text messages
86c - 0.11 eur (PEAK)
30c - 0.04 eur (OFF PEAK)
International SMS text messages: R 1,58 - 0.19 eur (ALL DAY)

=-=-= STANDART =-=-=
[who makes calls during peak and off peak]. Charged for full minute.

R 2,85 /min - 0.35 eur/min (PEAK)
R 1,55/min - 0.19 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
SMS text messages
80c - 0.10 eur (PEAK)
34c - 0.04 eur (OFF PEAK)

=-=-= SMART STEP  =-=-=
[who makes longer than 1min calls during peak] Charged for full minute.

Calling (ALL DAY): R2,70 for the 1st minute, R1,55 per minute thereafter
SMS text messages
80c - 0.10 eur (PEAK)
34c - 0.04 eur (OFF PEAK)

=-=-=   4U PREPAID  =-=-=
[who calling during off peaks. per second billing] Charged per second.

Vodacom to Vodacom and National Voice Calls
6c /sec - 0.007 eur/sec = 0,42 eur/min (PEAK)
1,65c /sec - 0.002 eur/sec = 0,12 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
Vodacom to MTN / Cell-C and VAS Calls
6c /sec - 0.007 eur/sec = 0,42 eur/min (PEAK)
1,8c /sec - 0.002 eur/sec = 0,12 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
SMS text messages
80c - 0.10 eur (PEAK)
34c - 0.04 eur (OFF PEAK)

Comparing to MTN and Vodacom this provider's Coverage is rather small:

[Calling during peak and off peak] Charged for full minute.

Cell C to Cell C
R 2.55 - 0.31 eur/min (PEAK)
R 1.35 - 0.16 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
Cell C to other
R 2.80 - 0.34 eur/min (PEAK)
R 1.45 - 0.18 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
SMS text messages
75c - 0.09 eur (PEAK)
30c - 0.04 eur (OFF PEAK)
International SMS: R 1.50 - 0.18 eur

[Calling at night at during weekends] Charged for full minute.

R 3.60 - 0.44 eur/min (PEAK)
96c - 0.12 eur/min (OFF PEAK)
SMS text messages
75c - 0.09 eur (PEAK)
30c - 0.04 eur (OFF PEAK)
International SMS: R 1.50 - 0.18 eur

=-=-= EASY CHAT ALL DAY =-=-=
[calling during the day] Charged for full minute.

Calling: R 2.00 - 0.24 eur/min (ALL DAY)
SMS text messages: 50c - 0.06 eur
International SMS: R 1.50 - 0.18 eur
1: With Cell C you can use either Cell Cs network or roam (without extra cost) at Vodacom's network, i.e. you have very good coverage.

2: You can buy a 100 SMS card for R36.50, i.e. R0.365 per SMS both ON- and OFF-peak. Combined with Easy Chat per second, you can send cheap SMS on-peak, and call cheaply during off-peak

3: International SMS, both receiving and sending, does not always work. It might depend on the network in the other country.(?)
by augustas, Andreas T, updated: 26/10/2004, created: 22/05/2004 [south africa]
Cheap accommodation in Johannesburg
GEMINI Backpackers - recommended!
FREE Internet. Double room 160 rand, camping 45 rand. Free pickup from airport.
1 Van Gelder road, Crystal Gardens, Johannesburg, Cell: 082-574-4270; Tel: +27 11 882-6845; Guest phone: +27 11 443-5011
This is what they replied to my question about the public transport connection with JoBurg town:
"We don't offer free transfers to JHB. A transfer to park station will cost you R 70 for one person R 50 p/p if two people R 45 p/p if there are three people and R 40 if there are four people."
IN AFRICA Backpackers Lodge
Contact Gertie/Bruce: Tel - +27 11 609 5874; Cell - +27 (0)82 445 7116; Guest - +27 11 452 3255
"We do have double rooms which is R160.00 per couple plus a free airport pick up and drop off. We do not offer camping as our place do not have the facilities. Although we have a lovely garden with a lapa and a swimming pool."
This is what they replied to my question about the public transport connection with JoBurg town:
"The problem is not getting to Joburg as there is transport available the problem is Jhb is not safe to wander around in.
We all do everything in malls. Joburg is long time no more a city to shop and look at windows. Our public transport system is not good at all as you can be a target for criminals. We do offer trsp to the malls or Apartheid museum at a minimum price.
If you are daring there is always the local trsp which is the minibus taxis that our local takes."

Back in Africa
North of Johannesburg. Camping 45 rand, double room 185 rand, dorm 70 rand.
22 Campbell Road, Craigavon, Sandton; P O Box 10522, Fourways East 2055, Gauteng, South Africa; (+27 11) Tel: 465-4219;
Pick up from the airport 40-60 RAND pp.
Free pickups only during daylight hours & apply to stays of 2 consecutive nights or longer (3+ nights if camping).
They also sent me .doc attachment with more details about their services. So, you may write them an email, in case you need more info.
PO Box 412460, Craighall, 2024, South Africa; Phone ++27 11 325 7125
Dorm 80 rand, single 160 rand, double 240 rand, they offer free airport/station pick-up.
"Public transport to the city center is readily available and cheap in the mini bus taxis. However, we strongly advise you not to go down town as it is crime ridden and dangerous. The hostel is located close to 2 major shopping malls which will contain everything you require."
Ritz also can sent you a .doc file attachment with more details about their services.
Double room 180 rand, single 90 rand, dorm 65 rand, camping 40 rand pp. It seems there is no free pick-up from the airport. Transport: 60-90 rand pp to/from airport, 40 rand pp to/from bus station.
tel: 00 27 11 787-8070; Dominique Vigliotti +27 82 809 8413; Brigitte Vigliotti +27 72 205 3759
Diamond Diggers Lodge
180 rand double room. single 70 rand. Free approved airport shuttle.
LOCATION: The Lodge is a stone's throw away from many restaurants and Africa's greatest shopping hub at the Eastgate Centre. Kensington suburb.
Tel: +27 11 624 1676, Mobile: +27 83 477 8775; 083 415 1546
Physical address: 36 Doris street, Kensington, Johannesburg, South Africa
"We have a shuttle to transport you to Joburg center at R10 each way or there is a municipal bus that leaves from outside the lodge which you could take for around the same price."
by augustas, created: 20/07/2004 [south africa]
Buying a car in South Africa
information on buying a car in South Africa
(collected from 3rd-party personal experiences in 2002, so be aware of changes)

* money
Used cars probably cannot be paid by credit card, so you have to check your plastic cards on their limits for getting cash (for credit cards there is most probably a different limit for getting cash than for paying directly with the card). ATMs in S.A. have a limit of 1000 to 1500 Rand per day (less than 200 Euro), maybe different for European ec-/maestro-cards (there are reports of 5000 Rand per day). You can get cash at a bank counter up to the limit of the credit card, but not at every bank (e.g. and not on the weekend (the bank will call the office of the credit card company to verify the limit).
Important: If you want to change back a larger amount of Rand into Euro (e.g. after selling the car again), the bank has to demand a proof of how the money came into the country. So keep all the receipts you got when you fetched the cash in the beginning as well as the receipts from the dealer for buying and selling the car. You also need these proofs when you take larger amounts of cash out of the country, which you likely will have to do as you can get Personal Traveller Cheques (e.g. in Euros) from S.A. banks only if you have a S.A. bank account, which is very hard to get for foreigners.

* price, purchase, contract etc.
- “Mead and McGrouther” holds the up-to-date prices of used car models in S.A. as a reference and argument for the negotiations.
- Make sure both addresses (if necessary passport number for foreigners), the price in Rand and the motor number of the car are correctly entered in the contract and it is signed by both parties.
- Don’t only look at the car from the outside but make a longer test drive, look under the engine hood (even laypersons can see lots of things there!).
- There are dealers that might offer a buy-back-deal which might be an option if you will have little time to sell the car (e.g. - just came across the site, but don’t know yet if all that’s stated there is true)
- price examples from 2002:
--> Fiat Uno, no A.C., from 1996, good technical and optical conditions: R19.000 (loss with buy-back-deal about R1.000 per month)
--> Nissan Sabre, 1995, alarm, 4 doors, A.C., good conditions: R27.000

* registration documents and road worthy certificate (RWC)
If you can ask the dealer of the car or another local to come along to the licensing office, this would be a good idea.
At the licensing office you need:
- a registration form you have to fill out there to have a car registered on your name, along with your original passport and a picture
- a resident’s address in South Africa (the tickets for speeding etc. will be sent there, if they are not paid on the spot)
--> you get a registration document
- the original certificate-of-ownership-document (including kind of “CV” for the car with all previous owners)
--> the licensing office has the car in the computer and will print out a new certificate of ownership replacing the old one
- a roadworthy certificate (RWC): a RWC not older than 6 months is sufficient, if it is older you will have to get a new one (which will cost money, and most likely something will be found that has to be repaired for more money). Some people say that for old cars you need connections to a mechanic who does the test, so looking for a car with a RWC not older than 6 months is a lot better.
--> At the licensing office you will get a new RWC (a circular piece of paper to be glued from the inside on the wind shield).
Once you have a RWC, you can use the car for ages...

* insurance
Insurance is not compulsory. Large (cheaper) insurance companies do not have offices, so the call-center has to accept your credit card (e.g. Nova Risk Partners Ltd, The price depends on the resident’s address.
One strange thing: theoretically, on longer trips you have to inform the company about your new residence every day... but South Africans do travel, too, don’t they?!
Important: The standard insurance expires if you leave the country.

* driving license
The police will want to see an English-written document, so you should have an international driving license.

* AA, repairs, “Technical Inspection Agency”
- Membership in the AA, the automobile association of S.A., is not expensive and probably a good idea, concerning safety, old cars and old roads in some places.
- repairs are generally quite cheap
- The Technical Inspection Agency is called COR. There are private garages which are allowed to make the COR certificate (ca. R100). The examination is quite superficial. You get a document which you have to take to some office to get a sticker for the wind shield (ca. R10), on which the date for the next examination is stated.
by Ralf Olleck, created: 28/06/2004 [south africa]
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