|EVENT:||21st Baptist World Congress|
|LOCATION:||Durban, South Africa|
|DATE:||July 22-26, 2015|
|THEME:||Jesus Christ, the Door|
In the province of KwaZulu-Natal, situated on the subtropical East Coast, is Durban-South Africa’s third largest city, a prime tourist destination in South Africa. The city surrounds Durban Bay, the world’s ninth largest port. Superb air and land transport infrastructure exists, with many of the major international airlines flying directly to South Africa. Durban is nestled on the coast of the warm Indian Ocean with golden beaches, parks, museums, theaters and world class shopping malls. Durban’s subtropical weather is sultry in summer and mild in winter. Durban is noted for it’s rich cultural diversity and delegates will be greeted by a kaleidoscope of, amongst others, Indian, Colonial and African traditions that have prospered in the city and given rise to a wide variety of cuisine, restaurants, arts and crafts, and ethnic dance forms. Within a two-hour drive from Durban, delegates can be on safari at a game reserve, visiting traditional Zulu villages, hiking or trout fishing in the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. KwaZulu-Natal boasts two world heritage sites – one in the Drakensberg mountains, which contains one of the highest waterfalls in the world, and the other, the St Lucia Wetlands Park, which is adjacent to Sodwana Bay, the site of the recent coelacanth colony discovery. Durban is an ideal base from which to explore Southern Africa.
Currency and Banks
The unit of currency in South Africa is the South African Rand (ZAR) and is indicated with a capital R so that, for example, three Rand and fifty cents would be written R3.50. South Africa has a decimal currency system with one Rand equaling 100 cents. Denomination of Rand notes are R200, R100, R50, R20, and R10 and of the coins are R5, R2, R1, 50c, 20c, 10c and 5c. The following exchange rates were applicable at the time of posting this document.
1.00 USD = 10.7371 ZAR
1.00 EUR = 14.7553 ZAR
Facilities for cashing traveler’s cheques are available at banks (operating hours are Monday-Friday 9:00-15:30, Saturdays 08:30-11:00) and at most hotels. Banks are closed on Sundays. Foreign exchange agencies are open during the week and on Saturdays. Automatic teller machines (ATM) are open 24 hours and are located at most banks as well as at the conference venue. International credit cards are accepted at the majority of hotels, restaurants and shops.
The electricity supply in South Africa is 220-240 volts, 50 Hz. The connection for appliances is a round three-pin plug. Most hotels provide dual-voltage two-pin razor sockets (110-120 volts and 220-240 volts).
There are no compulsory vaccination requirements for individuals entering South Africa; although a certificate of yellow fever may be required if you are entering from certain South American or sub-Saharan African countries. Certain parts of South Africa have been designated as malaria risk areas. If you intend to travel to one of these areas, it is essential that you seek professional advice from your health care provider. Participants are requested to make their own arrangements with respect to health insurance prior to departure and consult their local general practitioner for personal expert advice. For international travel and health advisories please visit the WHO website at www.who.int/ith or www.cdc.org.
The Baptist World Alliance accepts no liability for any personal injury, loss or damage of property belonging to or additional expenses incurred by congress participants either during the congress or as a result of delays, strikes or any other circumstances. Participants are encouraged to make their own arrangements with respect to health and travel insurance.
The official Congress language will be English. Please indicate on your registration form if you speak a foreign language. Efforts are being made by the Congress organizers to provide translation facilities for a limited number of languages.
Meals are not included in the congress registration fee.
For those participants who have not previously visited Durban,South Africa concerned about personal safety, we wish to assure all visitors that Durban is like any other major world class city with good and bad areas. Common sense will ensure a trouble free and enjoyable visit. The area around the Congress venue and adjacent hotels is safe and well monitored at all times. During the Congress, the registration desk at the Congress venue and your hotel’s concierge will be able to assist you with information on places to visit and the appropriate means of transport.
Shopping in Durban
Most shops in the city center and suburb open between 08:00 and 17:30 hours. Shops in major shopping malls open at 09:00 and close at 19:00 hours or later.
- Passengers traveling to South Africa must be in possession of a passport with two unused pages required for endorsements. The two unused pages when presented for purposes of endorsing a port of entry visa, visa, permanent residence permit or entry of departure stamp.
- The passport must be machine readable however, the foreigner may be admitted into or depart from South Africa with a non-machine readable passport provided that:
- He or she is from a foreign country that is issuing machine readable passports and has not completely phased out the non-machine readable passports; and
- His or her passport was issued after 24 November 2005 and its date of expiry is before 24 November 2015.
Traveling with Children
Please note that a number of changes have been made to the South African Immigration Act with regard to travelling with children. In brief the following regulations now apply:
- Any child who is in alternative care as defined in the Children's Act, shall, before departing from South Africa, produce a certified copy of an authorization letter from the Provincial Head of the Department where the child resided as contemplated in Section 169 of the Children's Act.
- An immigration officer shall refuse any person who does not comply permission to depart from South Africa.
- Where parents are traveling with a child, the parents need to produce an unabridged birth certificate for the child reflecting both parents particulars.
- Where one parent is traveling with a child, he or she must produce an unabridged birth certificate and consent in the form of:
- an affidavit from the other parent registered as a parent on the child's birth certificate authorizing him or her to enter into or depart from South Africa with the child.
- A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child, or
- Where applicable, a death certificate of the other parent registered as a parent of the child on the birth certificate.
- Where a person is traveling with a child who is not his or her biological child, he or she must produce:
- A copy of the unabridged birth certificate of the child
- An affidavit from the parents or legal guardian of the child confirming that he or she has permission to travel with the child.
- Copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian of the child and
- The contact details of the parents or legal guardian of the child.
Value Added Tax (VAT) of 14% is levied on nearly all good and services. International guests may claim back VAT paid on items that will be taken out of the country. Original tax invoices, passport, plus all the items on which a refund is claimed, must be presented at the VAT Refund Administration Office or an appointed RSA Customs and Excise Official on departure, and the total VAT on these items will be refunded.
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