Doing Business with South Africa
Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)
Emergency telephone line of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Pretoria: +27 82 416 0016
The line operates outside the embassy’s working hours and is intended exclusively for citizens of the Czech Republic in emergency or danger to health and life.
South African emergency services:
- Tel. No. 112 – the operator switches to the police, rescue service or fire brigade (only possible from a mobile phone)
- Tel. No. 101 77 – rescue service and fire brigade (from mobile and landline)
- Tel. No. 101 11 – police (from mobile and landline)
Important web links and contacts
- Portal of the Office of the President of the Republic of South Africa – www.thepresidency.gov.za
- Government portal (all ministries) – www.gov.za
- Revenue and Customs: South African Revenue Service (SARS) – www.sars.gov.za
- Statistics Office – www.statssa.gov.za
Selected business chambers and organizations:
- The Commercial Register of South Africa is maintained by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) – www.cipc.co.za
- South African Institute of Intellectual Property Law – www.saiipl.org.za
- Small Business Institute – www.smallbusinessinstitute.co.za
- South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry – www.sacci.org.za
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Johannesburg) – www.jcci.co.za
- Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry – www.capechamber.co.za
- Durban Regional Chamber of Business – www.durbanchamber.co.za
- The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) – www.naamsa.co.za
Legal system and services:
- Law Society of South Africa – www.lssa.org.za
- Society of Advocates of South Africa – www.pretoriabar.co.za
Financial markets and banking:
- Ministry of Finance South Africa – www.treasury.gov.za
- South African Reserve Bank (central bank) – www.resbank.co.za
- Banking Association South Africa – www.banking.org.za
- Johannesburg Stock Exchange – www.jse.co.za
The Ten Commandments for Doing Business with the Republic of South Africa
The PaulSourcing agency has prepared ten recommendations for doing business with the Republic of South Africa for Czech entrepreneurs interested in business relations with the Republic of South Africa.
- Communicate in English English is sufficient for negotiations. Knowledge of other languages is not expected from the trader. On the other hand, you won’t be able to cope with other world languages here. No Afrikaans translation is necessary either.
- Don’t drive around Christmas Plan a trip outside of the Christmas period. JAR is located in the southern hemisphere, so the Christmas holidays are associated with the summer vacation period, similar to July and August in the Czech Republic.
- Respect the patriotism of South Africans Be mindful of South Africa’s ethnic, cultural and religious differences. Take this into account when negotiating and don’t be hasty in the opinions you express. All South Africans have one thing in common – they are proud of their country, where they are economically within Africa, and they are happy to hear that you like South Africa.
- Send a local partner to the authorities Find out who owns the company you are dealing with. There is a difference between the public and private spheres. For the state sector, it will certainly be appropriate to find a local representative.
- Go for a working lunch South Africans are very friendly and open in social and business relations. Be like them and leave your worried face and problems at home. Discussing business matters over a light lunch is common. There is also a frequent working breakfast. You can then complete the formal matters in the office. A jacket and trousers are appropriate, even different ones, you don’t have to wear a tie in a normal meeting.
- Be Healthy Self-Confidence Be gracefully confident and self-assured, especially about your product offering. Try to present yourself well above all. Try to be equipped with the powers to close the deal. Always correct the counterparty’s enthusiasm for high volumes and wide trading opportunities downwards.
- Choose a good price-performance ratio Czech products and even the location of the Czech Republic are not widely known in South Africa, but this is not an obstacle. The most important thing is “value for money”, a good ratio between the price and performance of the offered product.
- Master Incoterms Master your trade and delivery terms. It is especially important to respect the international rules of Incoterms.
- Be cautious Be aware of what is happening around you, be careful of yourself and your property. Unfortunately, South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world.
- Plan your time and transport South Africa is bigger than France, Spain and PortugalThere is no public transport in the country as we know it from Europe and taxis are not always safe. Plan well how you will move around the country.