South Africa Healthcare and Money

By | May 9, 2022

Health care


Vaccination needed receipt required
yellow fever 1
cholera 2
Typhoid & Polio Yes
malaria 3
Eat Drink


The medical care is good overall. The private hospitals in the big cities are of European standard, while the state hospitals are overcrowded and are suffering from budget cuts. Medical care in rural areas is not as good as in the big cities. It is recommended to take out travel health insurance and travel repatriation insurance. Check findjobdescriptions for more information.

Notes vaccinations

[1] Yellow fever vaccination is not required for direct flights from Europe. However, a vaccination certificate against yellow fever is required from all travelers who want to enter within six days of staying in the infection areas designated by the WHO and are over one year old. This also applies to travelers who have stayed longer than 12 hours in the infected areas as transit passengers. A yellow fever vaccination is generally recommended for transit stays, because often the duration of the transit stay cannot be proven. [2] A certificate of vaccination against cholera is not an entry requirement, but there is a risk of infection. Since the effectiveness of the vaccination is disputed, it is recommended obtain medical advice in good time before the start of the journey. To protect yourself, you should practice careful drinking water and food hygiene. Vaccination is only recommended in rare cases. [3] The more dangerous malaria species Plasmodium falciparum occurs year-round in eastern Mpumalanga Province (including the national parks and adjoining game reserves), northern and northeastern Limpopo Province. There is a medium to high risk from October to May, which is why malaria prophylaxis is recommended during this period. In the period from June to September there is a low risk of malaria in the areas mentioned. There is also a low risk of malaria from September to May in the north and north-east of KwaZulu-Natal (including the Tembe and Ndumo as well as the Umfolozi and Hluhluwe game reserves).

Food and drink

The tap water in the big cities is harmless to health, even if it doesn’t taste particularly good. However, in rural areas, tap water is not always sterile and should be sterilized or bought packaged. When buying packaged water, you should make sure that the original packaging has not been opened. Milk is pasteurized and dairy products, meat products, poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables are safe to consume. However, meat and vegetables should be well cooked and not warmed up.

Other risks

The standard vaccinations for children and adults recommended by the Robert Koch Institute (including against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), mumps, measles, rubella, pneumococci and influenza) should be refreshed before the trip if necessary. Schistosomiasis pathogens can occur in ponds and rivers, especially in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, as well as in KwaZulu-Natal and in the eastern Cape Province near Port Elizabeth. Swimming and wading in inland waters should therefore be avoided. Well maintained swimming pools with chlorinated water are safe. Dengue fever, transmitted by mosquitoes, occurs nationwide. An effective insect repellent is recommended. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B occur nationwide. A hepatitis A vaccination is generally recommended. Vaccination against hepatitis B should be given during longer stays and close contact with the local population, as well as for children and young people in general. HIV/AIDS is one of South Africa’s biggest health problems. It is widespread and a great danger for everyone who is at risk of infection: unprotected sexual contact, unclean syringes or cannulas and blood transfusions can pose a significant health risk. Plague cases have been reported from the north of the country. Protection against rats and fleas through safe sleeping places and more frequent linen changes as well as keeping away those who are already sick reduce the risk of infection. If you work in areas affected by the plague, it is advisable to take antibiotics prophylactically. The Rift Valley fever infection occurs regionally across the country and tourists can contract it, although the risk is relatively low. Protective measures are good protection against mosquitoes, do not drink uncooked fresh milk and do not eat raw meat. Rabies occurs nationwide. Carriers include stray dogs, cats, forest animals and bats. Vaccination is recommended for backpackers, children, occupational risk groups and for longer stays. In the event of a bite, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Tuberculosis occurs. Vaccination should be considered for exposure. UV radiation is very high and can damage the skin. Sun protection through skin-covering clothing and sunscreen (SPF > 20) is therefore absolutely necessary.

Health certificate

A health certificate is required for work stays.



1 South African Rand = 100 cents. Currency code: R, ZAR (ISO code). Banknotes are in denominations of R200, R100, R50, R20, and R10; Coins in denominations of 5, 2 and 1 R and 50, 20, 10 and 5 cents.

Credit cards

Mastercard and Visa are widely used, but American Express and Diners Club are also accepted. Not all establishments accept credit cards. For example, at gas stations and in the interior of the country you can rarely or not at all pay with a credit card. Details from the issuer of the relevant credit card.


Girocard The Girocard (formerly EC card) with the Maestro symbol is accepted in South Africa. Only secured ATMs located inside buildings – such as in banks, supermarkets and shopping centers – should be used. ATMs that are outside carry the risk of being tampered with. Further information from banks and credit institutes. Attention: Travelers who want to pay with their bank customer card abroad and withdraw money should find out from their bank about the possibility of using their card before starting their journey.

Travelers cheques

Traveller’s checks are no longer available in Germany and Switzerland and are hardly available in Austria. In South Africa, travelers checks can be cashed at a few banks and bureaux de change in the major cities.

Bank opening hours

Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – 3.30 p.m., Sat 8.30 a.m. – 11 a.m. (regional variations are possible).

Foreign exchange regulations

The import of the national currency must be declared from a sum of 25,000 R. Export of local currency is limited to R5,000. Unlimited import of foreign currency, sums from a value of US$ 10,000 must be declared. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount declared upon import.

Currency Exchange

Money (especially euros and US dollars) can be exchanged in most banks and hotels (only on presentation of the passport), at Cape Town International Airport even 24 hours a day. Currency exchange on the black market is discouraged.


Code Symbol Exchange rates (no guarantee)
ZAR R 1 EUR = R14.71
1 CHF =
R17.55 1 USD = R14.14

South Africa Money