Very Important Information

Shireen.Rubenstein@wits.ac.za

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT JOHANNESBURG

Johannesburg, undoubtedly one of the world’s most diverse and vibrant cities, is the economic powerhouse of South Africa. Jo’burg also known as Jozi or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa and also one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world. The city has its roots in gold and diamond mining which began in the late 19th Century when millions descended on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand hills.

Much of its infrastructure and economy has developed around gold and diamond mining. While in recent years much of the money and commercial business has moved out of the city into the suburbs, the city is starting to see renewal. Originally serving as a starting point for travel to other parts of SA and Africa, Johannesburg has become one of the region’s most visited and well-run tourism and business centres. The city is home to a number of good museums, galleries, sports stadiums, wildlife conservancies, memorials and other attractions which are scattered throughout.

Johannesburg is also serviced by the largest and busiest airport in Africa which provides the gateway to international air travel for much of the region. The recent launch of the rapid bus system is intended to provide convenient transport for both South Africans and international visitors. The Gautrain has improved the transport infrastructure of Gauteng and provides safe and efficient transport. The Gautrain runs from the O R Tambo International Airport to various parts of Johannesburg including Sandton, Rosebank and the Johannesburg City Centre. With its cool winters and fantastic sunshine-filled summers, Johannesburg is an ideal destination to visit throughout the year.

Visitors’ visas are for international travellers (citizens of other countries) who have permanent residence outside South Africa and who wish to visit the country on a temporary basis for tourism or business purposes for a period of 90 days or less. A visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed at a South African embassy, mission or consulate and that the consular officer has determined you are eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose.
The visa will allow you to travel to a South African port of entry where an immigration official will then determine if you are allowed to enter South Africa and for how long you can stay for that particular visit. Visitors are restricted to the activity or reason for which their visas were issued.

On entry to South Africa, a visa is considered to be a visitor’s permit. The permit’s period of validity is calculated from the date of entry into the country and will be set out under the heading “conditions” on the visa label. You must ensure that you apply for the correct visa/permit. Entry in the country may be refused if the purpose of visit was not correctly stated. Requirements for visitor’s visas differ from country to country (click here to see which countries are currently exempt), and the requirements are subject to change.

As each mapplication is treated as an individual case and you should make enquiries with your nearest South African mission or consulate abroad or any office of the Department of Home Affairs to see whether or not you are required to apply for a visa. Remember that there is a fee charged for issuing a visa, and you should check the cost with the office as well as this is updated annually. The fee is payable in different currencies in different countries.

Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry, and airline officials are obliged to insist on visas before allowing passengers to board. If you arrive without a visa, immigration officials are obliged to put you onto a flight back to your home country. Foreigners with long term status (work permits/permit residence) in the neighboring countries who transit the Republic to return to their employment or residence are not subject to the transit visa, provided they are in possession of proof of their status. Please follow the link provided for further information on obtaining South African visas.

TRANSPORT

  • Delegates are encouraged to book shuttle services from the airport to their accommodation.
  • Most hotels or bed and breakfasts offer shuttle services.
  • Car hire companies: Avis, Bidvest, Europcar
  • Uber is available in Johannesburg

GUIDELINES FOR PERSONAL SECURITY AND SAFETY OF PARTICIPANTS

Personal security is an individual responsibility and using common sense and being alert can reduce risks. Like any other big city throughout the world, Johannesburg has its share of crime, particularly petty and opportunistic crime. In most areas of the Johannesburg it is unwise to walk on the streets at night and it is also preferable not to walk alone during the day.

When in doubt about safety risks, please talk to conference organisers and South African conference delegates who are familiar with the city.

PLACES TO VISIT IN JOHANNESBURG

  • Origins Centre
  • Constitution Hill
  • Apartheid MuseumLion Park
  • Soweto
  • Maropeng and Sterkfontein Caves
  • Lilliesleaf Farm
  • Rosebank Art & Craft Market
  • Market Theatre
  • Orbit jazz club
  • Arts on Main, Maboneng precint.

HEALTH CARE REQUIREMENTS

A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required only for travellers coming from, or in transit through, infected countries. Tetanus-Diphtheria, Poliomyelitis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella should be reviewed and updated if necessary. Malaria is not a threat in urban areas unless you visit any game park or go trekking or hiking.

The Campus Health and Wellness Centre at Wits is located on the Lower Level of the Student Union Building (Matrix).

USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS

Conference Emergency Numbers – Campus Emergency Numbers

  • Wits Campus Control: +27 11 717 4444/6666
  • Wits Campus Health and Wellness Centre: +27 11 717 9111/13
  • Wits Traffic Office: +27 11 717 1882/3
  • Wits International Office: +27 11 717 1054

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Off- campus Emergency Numbers

  • Milpark Hospital: +27 11 480 5600
  • Garden City Hospital: +27 11 495 5000
  • Ambulance: 10177 or 082 911
  • Police (Flying Squad): 10111

IMPORTANT WEBSITES

  • www.wits.ac.za
  • City of Johannesburg Official Website
  • Johannesburg Tourism
  • South Africa Tourism
  • Travelling to SA
  • South African National Parks