South African Telecommunications
In South Africa there is one telecommunications provider which is Telkom. This provider is responsible for all fully automated land lines in every home and business in the country as well as for the public phone booths that you will see scattered around.
When you want to phone your loved ones at home, you will be subjected to pay international billing rates which will vary from hotels, phone booths and resorts. You can find all international dialing codes and emergency information in the local telephone directory. Local calls are still charged for, but are cheaper. During the weekend and after hours, there is what as known as Call More Time. This means that local and international phone calls made between 7pm and 7am every week night and 7pm on Friday night until Monday morning at 7am are even cheaper.
If you are traveling to places away from your accommodation location, you might want to consider purchasing a phone card. This will allow you to use the public phone booths easily and you can purchase one in various denominations depending on how long you might need to call for and where you are calling. Some phone booths also take coins, but these are being phased out slowly.
For those that have a cell phone, or mobile phone and want to use that while on vacation, you can simply purchase a pay-as-you-go sim card from one of the three service providers very cheaply at major stores like Pick ‘n Pay or Pep. You can then top up your account with various amounts of airtime. The three providers are Vodacom, which is the branch of Telkom and therefore has the widest coverage, MTN which offers good coverage in most areas and Cell C, which is a fairly new provider but offers cheap rates and good reception. Cell C has also recently joined with Virgin Mobile to offer an additional service provider.
- Vodacom numbers start with 082, 072, 076 and 079
- MTN numbers start with 083, 073 and 078
- Cell C numbers start with 084 and 074 which have been allocated to Virgin Mobile users
Internet access is readily available in South African towns and cities with most having one or two internet cafes. Most hotels, bed and breakfast, lodges and other accommodations will offer fax, email and internet facilities.