BECAUSE IT'S EASY TO MEET EXPENSES. EVERYWHERE WE GO, THERE THEY ARE

We put together some financial information and money tips to get you around

ABOUT SOUTH AFRICAN RAND (ZAR)

100 cents = 1 Rand
Coins: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R1, R2, R5 | Notes: R10, R20, R50, R100, R200

FINANCIAL SERVICES

All South African International Airports has a 24-hour foreign exchange service and various cash withdrawal machines. St Lucia has three cash withdrawal machines in town and a First National Bank. The bank is open from 09h00 and 15h30 on weekdays and 09h00 and 11h00 on Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays and public holidays. Please do not let any person assist you at a cash withdrawal machine. Rather go to a bank and get assistance from there.

The vast majority of retail outlets and service providers in St Lucia have credit card facilities. However, many filling stations outside of St Lucia do not yet have credit card facilities – the law was only recently amended to allow credit card payments for petrol and diesel.

VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT)

South Africa charges value-added tax (VAT) of 15% on goods and services.

Non-resident foreign passport holders and South African passport holders who are permanently resident in an export country, on a temporary visit to South Africa, are able to claim a refund of VAT paid on movable goods purchased from VAT registered vendors which goods are exported on departure from the Country.

VAT refunds can be arranged through the VAT refund offices at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport and King Shaka International Airport in Durban. VAT can be claimed on purchases of more than R250. To claim VAT, you will need your original tax invoice/s and your passport.

For more information, visit http://www.taxrefunds.co.za/

TIPPING

There is no legislation in South Africa regarding tipping, but is it customary in restaurants and bars to tip at least 10% of your bill.

Parking attendants and security guards are common in parking lots and at roadside bays. They generally ask if they can watch your car while you are going about your business – if you agree, a tip of R2 and up can be offered, but you are under no obligation to do so. Should you need assistance in taking your purchases from supermarket to your vehicle, you may want to show your gratitude to your helper with a small monetary reward.

In South Africa we still have the luxury of petrol attendants at gas stations to fill up our vehicle tanks, check oil, water, tyre pressure, and clean the windscreens. This is a service offered by the gas stations and you are under no obligation to provide a tip, unless you would like to do so.

Social services in South Africa advise against giving money to street children and beggars. These vulnerable individuals are often exploited. If you’re looking to make a difference, rather donate money to an organisation like African Impact that offers community support around St Lucia.