Johannesburg, South Africa
Value Added Tax
➤ South African VAT is 14 percent.
➤ Generally, VAT is not charged for exhibits or exhibit space if you are a foreign exhibitor, your company is based overseas, you pay in foreign currency, and your exhibit house is a member of the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa.
➤ South Africa uses 220V.
➤ A special three-prong adaptor only used in South Africa is required. Adaptors are available in most electronic shops.
➤ Cleaning can be ordered through the exhibitor services manual. If you are working with a local booth builder, it will generally provide this service and include it as part of your overall labor fee.
➤ Build-and-burn exhibit properties are not common at trade shows in South Africa.
➤ If you have international service on your U.S. cell phone, it should work in Johannesburg.
➤ Smoking is not allowed inside exhibit halls. It is, however, allowed outside of the venues.
➤ To pay royalties on music rights, contact the Southern African Music Rights Organisation. Visit www.samro.org.za
➤ Dial 10111 for police and/or fire departments from land lines.
➤ Dial 10177 for medical emergencies from land lines.
➤ Dial 112 for emergency help from cell phones.
Greetings and Culture
➤ English greetings are appropriate at South African trade shows.
➤ Local greetings include "Molo" (Xhosa singular) and "Molweni" (Xhosa plural), "Sawubona" (Zulu singular) and "Sanbonani" (Zulu plural), and "Goeie dag" pronounced "Hwee-uh dag" in Afrikaans.
➤ Most exhibitors offer light snacks or soft drinks. Alcohol is often served at the end of the day.
➤ Common snacks include chips, pastries, and local foods such as biltong (cured meat) or droÃfÂ«wors (spiced, cured sausage).
➤ South Africa has 11 official languages, but English is spoken widely among the business community. So translators are not necessary at international shows.
➤ Exhibit signage and literature need only be printed in English.
➤ Exhibit staffers, both men and women, should dress as they would at American shows. Attire can vary from show to show, much like in the United States, with dark business suits common at more formal trade shows and business-casual attire more common at conferences and expositions serving comparably casual industries.
➤ Tattoos and piercings should be covered.
Venues and Resources
➤ Sandton Convention Centre (SCC) has more than 236,000 square feet of exhibit space. It is accessible using the Gautrain, a rail service, from Tambo International Airport. www.saconvention.co.za
➤ MTN Nasrec Expo Centre is the largest exhibit venue in Johannesburg with 452,000 square feet spread across five exhibition halls. www.expocentre.co.za
➤ The Coca Cola Dome is located in northern Johannesburg. It contains more than 161,000 square feet of exhibit space. www.coca-coladome.co.za
➤ Gallagher Convention Centre is located halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria. Gallagher has nearly 300,000 square feet spread across five exhibit halls. www.gallagher.co.za
➤ South African Tourism: www.southafrica.net
➤ Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA): www.exsa.co.za
General Facts and Tips
➤ There is a lack of skilled labor in South Africa, so it is best to work with companies that are approved members of the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa (EXSA).
➤ South Africa has a diversity of cultures and religions, so people tend to be very tolerant.
➤ Certain areas of Johannesburg are off limits due to safety concerns. Visitors should check with South African Tourism (www.southafrica.net) for details on where it is safe to travel.
➤ While there is a lot of crime in certain parts of Johannesburg, the Sandton area of Johannesburg - where the Sandton Convention Centre is located - is safe and has many shops and restaurants. The U.S. Consulate is also located in Sandton.
➤ Due to crime in South Africa, do not ship valuable personal items with your booth property or any of your exhibit materials. To be on the safe side, take all valuable personal items on the plane with you.
Installation and Dismantle
➤ There are no labor unions involved in Johannesburg exhibit halls.
➤ To avoid language-related delays, request an English-speaking foreman.
➤ You can order electrical services and labor through the show organizer. If you hire or bring your own electrician, you will need to complete a certificate of compliance and return it to the show organizer.
➤ The forms can be found in your exhibitor manual or through the show's website.
➤ The local exhibit builder should have all necessary tools required for I&D. However, if your exhibit requires any special tools, it is best to bring them with you or request them in advance of the show.
➤ Labor is charged by the hour with unskilled labor running about $3 per hour and semi-skilled about $20 per hour.
➤ The show venue in Johannesburg is responsible for the enforcement of all safety regulations.
➤ Venues are locked at night. However, security personnel are largely unskilled, and not always effective.
➤ You should remove all valuable items from your exhibit when you leave the show floor each day. Should something go missing from your booth, the show venue cannot be held responsible.
➤ Exhibit floor plans need to be submitted to the show organizer before the show. Engineering approval is required for double-deck structures and booths taller than 8 feet.
Robert Campbell, vice president, Uniplan GmbH & Co. KG, Basel, Switzerland; Christopher Dorn, president, Idea International Inc., Tokyo; Jeffrey S. Hannah, president and CEO, Nuance International Inc., Lawrenceville, GA; Frank Liu, deputy general manager, Uniplan GmbH & Co. KG, Beijing; Lorraine Lorenzini, director of international account management, Freeman, Dallas; Matthew Pearce, president, Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia, Chatswood, NSW, Australia; Gino Pellegrini, president and design director, Inter-Global Exhibitions Group, Denver; Jeannine K. Swan, owner and president, Global Exhibit Management, Fort Worth, TX; Jori Wilmoth, manager of international services, Derse Inc., Milwaukee