There are four network providers in South Africa:
Cell phone networks do not sell contracts to anyone with a visitors permit or a student permit however pay-as-you-go is the most popular and common form of cell phone usage in South Africa.
Pay-as-you-go is recommended. You can buy a starter pack in most stores. Depending on where you buy them they cost from R1 –R10.
You can buy airtime for any of these networks everywhere you find shops even in the most remote parts of the country.
If you want to keep your international cell then explore http://www.onesimcard.com which offers cheap options for using your existing cell whilst in SA.
You do not get a new phone with a pay-as-you-go deal. If you have a cell phone bring it with you. Cell phones except for the very basic models are expensive in South Africa.
Under South African law all new cell phone numbers need to be registered for RICA. To RICA you need to have your passport or identity document plus proof of address. You will need to present these when you purchase a starter pack for pay as you go. For more information on what RICA is:
If you want internet access from your phone, you can buy data bundles from the networks or convert airtime into data bundles.
To phone a landline abroad from your cell phone dial 087 9412345 and follow the instructions. The cost will be that of a local cell phone call. It only works however if you are phoning a landline NOT a cell phone number.
3G is available in SA from all the network providers, it is however expensive. Each network provider sells their own 3G connector. Averagely they cost R600 plus and are not interchangeable between networks.
On registration all students are allocated an active directory account. You will have your own e-mail account.
There are numerous Wi-Fi spots on campus. To use Wi-Fi in the libraries you will need to register with the library
For details on spaces where you have access to internet computing labs:
Skype is the cheapest way to communicate internationally. http://www.skype.com
For enquiries about international numbers, testing of overseas numbers, time difference, international tariffs and technical difficulties dial 10903. It is a 24 hour service. (Please note, if you phone from a cell you will be charged cell phone rates)
For operator assistance in placing an international call from a landline dial 10 900.
Online search for country codes and options for cheap calls can be found at http://www.countrycallingcodes.com
There are a number of different international call cards which you can buy and use from a landline. You can purchase them at a variety of outlets. They are usually available in R20 and R50 units.
For local directory information services dial 1023.