South Africa


The Republic of South Africa occupies the southern most part of the African continent.

Its surface area is approx. 1 219 090 km2. It has common boundaries with the Republics of Namibia. Botswana and Zimbabwe, while the Republic of Mozambique and the Kingdom of Swaziland lie to the northeast. Complete enclosed by South African territory in the southeast is the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.

The country is divided into nine provinces: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, North West Province, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mapumalanga, Free State and KwaZulu Natal.

South Africa has 11 official languages – English, Afrikaans, Northern Sotho, Ndebele, Southern Sotho. Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. English is the main language of government and is spoken everywhere.

The ANC is the ruling party with Thabo Mbeki as State President.

Drinking water

Tap water is absolutely safe to drink. Please drink enough water during your stay.

Tips

Normally 10% of bill, it is not included in the price at restaurants etc. and is at your discretion.

The guides that are being used in Soweto and Pilansberg normally appreciate a little tip. This gives them that little extra that they can work with. But this is totally at your discretion. An amount of R10 per person is suggested! (Nothing for the children).

Dress code

Very casual except for the day that you go to court. Men are aloud to wear sandals without socks!! Ladies please feel free to wear walking shorts or skirts, it's the only way to enjoy and survive our lovely sunny weather.

Medical services

On the corner of Beckett & Church Streets, on top of the pharmacy is Dr. Kunzmann. His telephone number is (012) 344 2211.

Banking & Postage - Pretoria

There are banks in Hatfield and a safe cash machine (ATM) at the small shopping centre near the guesthouse.

Banking hours – weekdays 9 – 15.30, Saturday 9 – 11.
Postage to Europe is R4-50 (post cards). There is a post office opposite the Pick & Pay Mall in Hatfield, or you can give it to me to be posted.

The Best Shopping - Pretoria

The Menlyn Mall. There are a lot of shops all under roof. It is save and very convenient. When shopping, ask for tax invoice, to enable you to claim tax paid on gifts, etc. VAT 14%.


The Hatfield shopping area is the better area to shop for your daily requirements.

Safety precautions

Please be aware of the fact that we do experience a lot of crime in South Africa. Be alert and never go around alone after dark.

Do not carry large sums in cash and avoid displaying valuables such as cameras. Be careful at the ATM machines.


Have a lovely stay in sunny South Africa and be happy!!!



National Anthem

The national Anthem is a combination of the well-known Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika – God bless Africa (composed in 1897 by Enoch Sontonga) and the Call of South Africa (written in 1918 by CJ Langenhoven and set to music by ML de Villiers). Nkosi sikelel' was originally written in isiXhosa as a church hymn and seven additional verses were added later. In later years it was increasingly used at political meetings and became a symbol of the struggle and political freedom in South Africa.


The verses of the anthem are in four different languages. These are IsiXhosa, SeSotho, Afrikaans and English.


Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika
Maluphakanyisw' uphondo lwayo,
Yizwa imithandazo yethu,
Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.


Morena boloka setjhaba sa heso,
O fedise dintwa le matshwenyeho,
O se boloke, O se boloke setjhaba sa heso,
Setjhaba sa South Afrika - South Afrika.


Uit die blou van onse hemel,
Uit die diepte van ons see,
Oor ons ewige gebergtes,
Waar die kranse antwoord gee,


Sounds the call to come together,
And united we shall stand,
Let us live and strive for freedom,
In South Africa our land.

South African Flag

South African Flag

 

The meaning of each colour is as follows:


Black – All the people of South Africa;

Yellow –The richness off minerals;

Green – Agriculture land and the beautiful land filled with animal life etc.;

Red – Blood that was lost during the struggle for freedom;

Blue – The sky, water and sun shine;

White – Is for peace, prosperity and equality amongst the people



The coat of arms

Coat of Arms

The role of the coat of arms

A national Coat of Arms, or state emblem, is the highest visual symbol of the State.


The Coat of Arms is also a central part of the Great Seal, traditionally considered to be the highest emblem of the State. Absolute authority is given to every document with an impression of the Great Seal on it, as this means that it has been approved by the President of South Africa.


South Africa's Coat of Arms was launched on Freedom Day, 27 April 2000. The change reflected government's aim to highlight the democratic change in South Africa and a new sense of patriotism.


The symbols of the Coat of Arms

The oval shape of foundation


The motto

The motto is: !ke e: /xarra //ke, written in the Khoisan language of the /Xam people, literally meaning diverse people unite. It addresses each individual effort to harness the unity between thought and action. On a collective scale it calls for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride - unity in diversity.


The ears of wheat

An emblem of fertility, it also symbolises the idea of germination, growth and the feasible development of any potential. It relates to the nourishment of the people and signifies the agricultural aspects of the Earth.


Elephant tusks

Elephants symbolise wisdom, strength, moderation and eternity.


The shield

It has a dual function as a vehicle for the display of identity and of spiritual defence. It contains the primary symbol of our nation.


The human figures

The figures are derived from images on the Linton stone, a world-famous example of South African rock art, now housed and displayed in the South African Museum in Cape Town. The Khoisan, the oldest known inhabitants of our land and most probably of the Earth, testify to our common humanity and heritage as South Africans and as humanity in general. The figures are depicted in an attitude of greeting, symbolising unity. This also represents the beginning of the individual's transformation into the greater sense of belonging to the nation and by extension, collective humanity.


The spear and knobkierie

Dual symbols of defence and authority, they in turn represent the powerful legs of the secretary bird. The spear and knobkierie are lying down, symbolising peace.


The oval shape of ascendance

The protea

The protea is an emblem of the beauty of our land and the flowering of our potential as a nation in pursuit of the African Renaissance. The protea symbolises the holistic integration of forces that grow from the Earth and are nurtured from above. The most popular colours of Africa have been assigned to the protea – green, gold, red and black.


The secretary bird

The secretary bird is characterised in flight, the natural consequence of growth and speed. It is the equivalent of the lion on Earth. A powerful bird whose legs - depicted as the spear and knobkierie - serve it well in its hunt for snakes, symbolising protection of the nation against its enemies. It is a messenger of the heavens and conducts its grace upon the Earth. In this sense it is a symbol of divine majesty. Its uplifted wings are an emblem of the ascendance of our nation, while simultaneously offering us its protection. It is depicted in gold, which clearly symbolises its association with the sun and the highest power.


The rising sun

An emblem of brightness, splendour and the supreme principle of the nature of energy, it symbolises the promise of rebirth, the active faculties of reflection, knowledge, good judgement and willpower. It is the symbol of the source of life, of light and the ultimate wholeness of humanity.


The completed structure of the Coat of Arms combines the lower and higher oval shape in a symbol of infinity. The path that connects the lower edge of the scroll, through the lines of the tusks, with the horizon above and the sun rising at the top, forms the shape of the cosmic egg from which the secretary bird rises. In the symbolic sense, this is the implied rebirth of the spirit of our great and heroic nation.