Wikimania 2015 bids/Cape Town/Cape Town
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Video introduction to Cape Town
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Cape Town is the legislative capital and second-most populous city in South Africa. It is also the provincial capital and primary city of the Western Cape. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The city is famous for its harbour as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom, as well as for such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point.
In January 2014 Cape Town was rated as the number 1 Holiday Hotspot in the world by The Guardian and the top destination in the world in the New York Times list of 52 Places to Go in 2014. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool rainy winters. The average temperature is 26°C during the summer and 12.6°C in the winter. Humidity tends to be low in summer, and rain usually occurs between June and July. Clear sky, bright sun with sometimes dry, windy and dusty conditions and cold nights with some frost in the morning can make the weather very pleasant. However, dramatic changes of temperature may happen sometimes. The temperatures may fluctuate between 20°C to 25°C during the day, and during night, temperatures remain between −5°C to 10°C.
|Climate data for Cape Town (1961–1990)|
|Avg high °C (°F)||18.1
|Daily Mean °C (°F)||12.5
|Average Low °C (°F)||7.8
|Rainfall mm (in)|| 93
|Average Rainy Days (≥ 0.1 mm)||13,3||11.8||13.7||10.4|
Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company in 1652 as a victualling (supply) station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East, making it the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa.
In 1948 the minority government led by the National Party introduced the policy of apartheid. This led to the erosion and eventual abolition of the Cape's multiracial franchise. It also led to the introduction of the Group Areas Act, which classified all areas according to race, leading to the destruction of many multi-racial suburbs of Cape Town, the most infamous of which was District Six in 1965.
In one of the most famous moments marking the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela made his first public speech since his imprisonment from the balcony of Cape Town City Hall hours after being released on 11 February 1990. His speech heralded the beginning of a new era for the country. The first democratic election was held four years later on 27 April 1994. Today, Cape Town is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa.
See also 80 Places to Visit in Cape Town
See also The Cape Town Green Map for a wide selection of environmentally minded attractions.
Cape Town has so much to offer as a tourist destination. It is blessed to have South Africa’s top six tourist attractions within one hour’s drive from the city centre, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Table Mountain, Cape Point, the Cape Winelands, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Robben Island, a short boat trip away.
Table Mountain—South Africa’s world-renowned icon, Table Mountain, was afforded National Park status in May 1998. Table Mountain offers something for everyone – magnificent views, cable car rides, mountain-biking, hiking, serious rock climbing, cross country running, fascinating botany, birding and for the more adventurous, abseiling and paragliding. Visitors are treated to a spectacular view during the ride to the top of Table Mountain aboard a modern cable car with a revolving floor.
Cape Point—The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point form part of the Cape Peninsula National Park and are managed by South African National Parks. Visitors can enjoy the 7,750 hectares reserve of indigenous flora and fauna, with over 150 bird species. Visitors can also travel with the only funicular in Africa to the viewing platform 678 metres above the sea.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront—Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront has established itself as a leading world-class waterfront. The unique working harbour with scenic views of Table Mountain combined with entertainment options like shopping, street musicians, museums, an aquarium, boat trips and cinemas promise to make any visit an unforgettable experience. It is located a short 5 minute walk away from the proposed venue at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden—Kirstenbosch is internationally acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. Situated on the south eastern slopes of Cape Town’s magnificent Table Mountain, the estate covers 528 hectares and includes a cultivated garden and a nature reserve. Indeed the tiny Cape Peninsula has more floral diversity than the whole of Europe combined.
Cape Winelands—The first wines in South Africa were produced at Steenberg in 1695. Groot Constantia, the oldest productive wine estate in the country, is situated within the city of Cape Town. The Cape Winelands and their cultural landscape were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on 24 June 2004 in the Cultural category.
Robben Island—Robben Island is one of South Africa’s four World Heritage sites. This barren windswept island was the prison home of former President Nelson Mandela for 18 years. Here you can experience the view that kept Nelson Mandela’s dream of freedom for his country alive. During the Second World War the island was fortified and BL 9.2-inch guns and 6-inch guns were installed as part of the defences for Cape Town. Today the island is a popular tourist destination and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. It is reached by ferry from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town and is open throughout the year, weather permitting, and tours of the island and prison are led by guides who were formerly prisoners there. Robben Island Museum (RIM) operates as a site or living museum.
An excellent business tourism infrastructureEdit
There are a host of world-class multi-purpose venues to choose from, including the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), an impressive, architecturally striking city landmark. The destination also has an excellent support system for hosting any event, from the largest convention to innovation-themed events.
English is almost universally spoken, though not the most widely spoken language at home. While French and German are becoming increasingly common with immigration from Europe as well as West and Central Africa, the business language of Cape Town and the Western Cape is English.
Cape Town and the Western Cape is a cosmopolitan destination, where cultural diversity is welcomed. Immigration from Europe and Africa has lent the city in particular an exciting vibrancy, adding to its creativity. A wealth of artistic and musical talent, opera, ballet, drama and comedy are always on offer.
As with all international cities in the world, crime in Cape Town is a reality and both residents and visitors alike should use common sense when out and about. Crime can happen anywhere but it generally takes place far from the orbit of visitors to the city. The safety of our visitors remains a top priority for the organisers. See below.
During the conference the team will provide a safe storage space to store valuables.
One responsible of the team will collaborate with the venue security team to enforce a friendly space policy, creating a harassment-free conference experience for everyone. Offensive verbal comments, stalking, and inappropriate physical contact will not be tolerated.
Cape Town International AirportEdit
The Cape Town International Convention Centre and other conference venues and hotels in the Cape Town central business district are a 20-minute drive from Cape Town International Airport. On arrival, access to ground transport is simple and convenient. There are a number of taxis, coaches, and shuttle services from the airport to the city centre. One of the most convenient ways to travel from the airport to the city centre is to catch the MyCiti bus service that leaves from the Airport roughly every 15 minutes.
While most international carriers fly into Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport is served by more than 20 international airlines on a weekly basis, linking the destination to global hubs like Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dubai, Singapore and London.
Travel costs can be lowered by flighting via OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg or King Shaka International Airport in Durban. Johannesburg is Africa's busiest airport, and one of the few airports in the world with direct flights to all six inhabited continents. Cape Town is a two-hour domestic flight from Johannesburg and Durban and on average there are flights every half hour between the two cities with a variety of domestic carriers. Cheaper options include different bus services linking the cities.
|City||Airfare (USD)||Airlines||№ of stopovers||Stopover cities||Travel time|
|Perth||$1,724||South African Airways||1||Johannesburg||15h20|
|Sydney||$1,961||South African Airways||1||Johannesburg||18h00|
|City||Airfare (USD)||Airlines||№ of stopovers||Stopover cities||Travel time|
|Rio de Janeiro||$1,200||British Airways, South African Airways||2||Nonstop||18h|
|Sao Paulo||$1,355||South African Airways||1||Johannesburg||12h40|
MyCiti bus systemEdit
For more infromation about the MyCiti Bus Rapid Transport System see their website
The Airport is conveniently connected to the city centre via a direct, 30 minute long MyCiti Bus route (A01) costing only R53.00 (US$5) per person. The MyCiti bus rapid transit system services most of the city centre and a number of suburbs. It is currently still in the process of being expanded across the city. It is the suggested means of transport for people visiting the city.
Hop on-Hop off sight seeing busEdit
The ubiquitous red hop on-hop off sight seeing bus can easily be found at or near popular destinations in Cape Town. A day pass allows people to easily access most scenic locations within the city during the day. Users board and disembark multiple buses during the day to visit locations at their convenience. A day pass costs R130 ($12.11) with night tours costing R90 ($8.39).
Cape Town Station is situated around 500 meters away from the CTICC and is the hub of the Metrorail Western Cape commuter rail network. The network consists of four lines, all of which originate from Cape Town and connect to the four most populated areas of the city. The Southern Line links to the city's Southern Suburbs and Simon's Town; the Cape Flats Line via Athlone to Retreat; the Central Line via Langa to Mitchell's Plain, Khayelitsha and Bellville; and the Northern Line via Bellville to Paarl, Stellenbosch and Somerset West. The airport is not connected to the railway network.
There are a number of regular and mini-bus taxi services in Cape Town that are readily available. Shared mini-bus taxis are commonly used by local residents. When taking a private taxi it is recommended that registered sedan taxi services be used, such as Rikkis Taxis, Marine Taxis, or Unicab.
Minibus taxis offer the cheapest transport, and their routes cover the entire peninsula, but they are entirely undocumented for visitors, and are usually overcrowded, badly driven, and sometimes un-roadworthy. Ask a local for help before using until you are familiar.
You can hire a car for around R200 a day. An international driver's licence is required in South Africa and the licence must include a photograph as well as the signature of the holder. Driving is on the left hand side of the road, and speed limits are in kilometres. Cash is sometimes required to pay for fuel, as credit cards are not always accepted.
For more information see: Visa policy of South Africa on Wikipedia, or the official list of exempted countries on SA Home Affairs
By and large South Africa enjoys good relations with all nations represented in the United Nations. This means that passport holders from all countries and with the proper documentation (should they come from a country that requires a visa) are welcome to visit and travel in South Africa. South Africa enjoys particularly strong relations with countries in Europe, Southern Africa, North and South America. Most countries in these regions do not need a visa to enter and travel around South Africa if their stay in the country is less than 30 to 90 days.
Free access (no visa required for stays of 90 days or less)
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Ireland
- New Zealand
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Kingdom
- United States
Free access (no visa required for stays of 30 days or less)
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cape Verde
- Costa Rica
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
Passport holders of countries NOT listed above will need a visitors visa or a business visa to enter South Africa to attend the conference.
Applying for a Visitors VisaEdit
Citizens of countries that are not one of the visa exempt countries listed above will require a visitor's visa for South Africa. The following documentation is needed when applying for this visa through a local South African consulate or embassy. Costs range from country to country, as do issuing times. Please contact your South African consulate page for specific requirements.
- Valid passport with at least two (2) unused (blank) pages labeled Visa when presented at the Embassy or Consulate; one page for affixing the visa or permit by the embassy/consulate and the other page for endorsement of entry/departure stamp by the South African Immigration Services. Passport must be valid for 30 more days after the intended return date from South Africa.
- Prescribed form BI-84.
- Two (2) passport photos
- Round trip flight itinerary
- Proof of sufficient funds (recent bank statement, credit card etc)
- Proof of hotel accommodation (hotel reservation or a letter of invitation from the host (relative or friend) in South Africa.
- Proof of host’s legal status in South Africa
- Non-refundable fee of $72.00 money order
- Yellow fever certificate is required if applicant passing through yellow fever belt area before entering South Africa.
The organising committee will support participants with special visa needs.
The currency used in South Africa is the South African Rand (R). All petrol stations and shopping malls have ATMs connected with the Maestro and Cirrus network. Currency changing desks are everywhere and especially easy to find in the city centre where the proposed venue location is.
The following exchange rates are accurate as of February 2014.
|Currency||ZAR per currency unit||ZAR 1|
|USD United States Dollar||11.09||0.09|
|GBP United Kingdom Pound||18.11||0.05|
|AUD Australian Dollar||9.90||0.10|
|JPY Japanese Yen||0.11||9.16|
|CAD Canadian Dollar||10.01||0.09|
Cost of livingEdit
Cape Town is recognised internationally as one of the most affordable business tourism and incentive travel destinations in the world.
|McDonald's "BigMac" Meal (with fries and a drink)||R 41 |
$ 3.82 / € 2.8 / £ 2.33
|Three course meal with a glass of wine at a high-end restaurant||R 300 |
$ 27.95 / € 20.47 / £ 17.08
|Inexpensive restaurant meal||R 70 |
$ 6.52 / € 4.78 / £ 3.98
|"Snickers" candy bar, 50g||R 9 |
$ 0.84 / € 0.61 / £ 0.51
|A plain Croissant||R 11.50 |
$ 1.07 / € 0.78 / £ 0.65
|Large Tuna Salad||R 42.50 |
$ 3.96 / € 2.9 / £ 2.42
|Large Sandwich||R 36.50 |
$ 3.4 / € 2.49 / £ 2.08
|Coca Cola (330ml)||R 7 |
$ 0.65 / € 0.48 / £ 0.4
|Beer (500ml draught)||R 18 |
$ 1.68 / € 1.23 / £ 1.02
|Iced Tea (330ml can)||R 9 |
$ 0.84 / € 0.61 / £ 0.51
|A Caffe Latte||R 22 |
$ 2.05 / € 1.5 / £ 1.25
|Mineral water||R 8 |
$ 0.75 / € 0.55 / £ 0.46
|Freshly squeezed orange juice||R 22 |
$ 2.05 / € 1.5 / £ 1.25
|One night at a typical three star hotel||R 625 |
$ 58.24 / € 42.64 / £ 35.58
|Taxi 1km ride (normal tariff)||R 10 |
$ 0.93 / € 0.68 / £ 0.57
South Africa as a whole has a high crime rate, including violent crime. However, unlike many international cities, the Cape Town city centre, where the event will be held, is the safest part—as safe as most international cities, and the safest city centre in the country. Most of the crime occurs in areas far from the city centre. In addition to the presence of the Central Improvement District there's a 160-camera surveillance network, as well as a municipal police force, in addition to the national police force. Petty crime (i.e. pickpocketing) is much less common in Cape Town, than in most European cities. Thousands of visitors visit Cape Town without incident.
Central City Improvement DistrictEdit
The Central City Improvement District (CCID) is a private-public partnership formed by the property owners within the central city to provide complementary services over and above what the City of Cape Town provides. The CCID works closely with its partners to offer safety and security, quality urban management and social development services to stakeholders in the Central City. Since its founding in 2000 the city centre has experienced an 85% decrease in crime.
CCID safety and security measures include visible policing, reaction units, policing of traffic infringements, ATM fraud detection, regulation of informal trading, event security, public assistance, vehicle breakdown assistance and security forums. CCID urban management consists of four precinct managers who monitor the streets and public spaces in Cape Town on a daily basis. The managers receive regular report-backs on defects within the precincts. They hold regular meetings with local authorities with the aim of developing urban management solutions.
Security at the CTICCEdit
The centre provides permanent security along the perimeter of the building and at major entrances and exits, as well as roaming security in public areas in the building. Our network of strategically located surveillance cameras throughout the facility and highly trained security officers ensure peace of mind throughout your conference.
Security at the CTICC is provided by an exclusive supplier which works in close co-operation with the City Police, VIP Protection Services and the Central Improvement District. Cape Town’s central business district is one of the safest in the country due to the establishment of the Central Improvement District in November 2000. This private–public partnership provides a security force to the city thereby keeping our streets safe for visitors and residents.
The Medi-Clinic at the CTICC has a registered nurse on duty during operating hours. There are two private emergency units within 5 minutes of the CTICC offering emergency medical care, i.e. Chris Barnard Netcare and Cape Town Medi-Clinic. Cape Town CBD is served by METRO EMS ambulance service and three private ambulance services. They are Netcare 911, er24 and Life. Cape Town has no risk of tropical diseases, nor is malaria found here.
- ↑ Holiday hotspots: where to go in 2014, The Guardian, Published on: 3 January 2014, Retrieved on: 13 January 2014
- ↑ 52 Places to Go in 2014, New York Times, Retrieved on: 13 January 2014
- ↑ "Cape Town Hosts Official WDC 2014 Signing Ceremony". World Design Capital. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- ↑ "Cape Town: Top tourist attractions". International Aquarium Congress. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- ↑ "South African Rands to US Dollar exchange rate". xe.com. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
- ↑ "South African Rand exchange rate". xe.com. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- ↑ "Cost of Living in Cape Town, South Africa". numbeo.com. Retrieved 21 January 2014.