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Telecommunications

Microwave and radio mast
Microwave and radio mast, Naval Hill, Bloemfontein.

South African telecommunication infrastructure is cutting edge, and connections to countries beyond our borders are easy and efficient.

South African telecommunicationsservice providers include 2 landline operators – Telkom and Neotel. Together they provide telephony services to residential homes, accommodation establishments, visitor centres, tourism and leisure facilities, and public call boxes across the country.

Telkom also offers WorldCall calling cards, which allow you to call to any destination in the world from a Telkom line in South Africa - including those in hotels - at standard Telkom rates.

Hotels offer direct dial facilities, while call boxes operate on coins and phonecards that can be widely purchased from retail outlets.  Reverse charge and ‘home direct' (charging a call to your home number) services are also available.

Telecommunications in South Africa also includes a well-established mobile (cellular) phone network. Four mobile service providers - Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and 8ta - ensure countrywide coverage and reception is generally good in urban areas.  Mobile phones can be hired at all international airports and prepaid airtime can be purchased at most retail outlets.

Useful information on dialing codes:

  • For outgoing international calls, dial 00 plus the country and area codes of the destination concerned.  Refer to telephone directories for international dialing codes, or obtain 24-hour assistance by calling 10903.
  • For incoming international calls, the code is +27 followed by the city code or cellphone code, dropping the first 0.
  • O8 numbers are free to the caller; 0860 numbers are charged at local rates; 0861 numbers are charged at a flat rate.
  • Important local city dialing codes: 011 -  Johannesburg; 012 -  Pretoria; 021 -  Cape Town; 031 -  Durban; 041 - Port Elizabeth.

When it comes to internet and fax connections, most international hotels offer wireless connections in guest rooms, business centres or restaurants, and internet cafes are to be found in most business locations and shopping malls. Some South African restaurants also offer WiFi access. 

Outlets such as PostNet, which can be found in major cities, offer internet, fax, postage and photocopying facilities.