WERA 2018 WORLD CONGRESS   |   3-5 August 2018    |   CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA




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Water Update

South Africa has a long history of drought challenges. Currently Cape Town is experiencing water shortages. The WERA World Congress occurs after the rainy, winter season in Cape Town – with obvious increases in water availability. Government and scientists have rolled out effective evidence-based interventions to address water shortages and support local residents as well as tourists. These natural climate cycles and national, regional and local strategies all have a positive effect on the water-related challenges. Consequently, many scientific conferences of world-wide scope are reserved to continue in Cape Town. In addition, Cape Town continues to be a favourable tourist destination.

The team at the Cape Town Westin Hotel and conference centre – where the Cape Town WERA World Congress is located - have been proactive in implementing innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce their water usage and have steady water supply in the medium to long-term.


Weather in Cape Town

Prepare for all weather: sitting right on the southern tip of the African continent between two huge oceans, Cape Town's maritime climate can deliver four seasons in one day. As a general rule, Cape Town's winter (July-August) is relatively cold and wet, with temperatures ranging between 8 and 18 degrees Celcius, and summer (November - March) is hot and dry, sometimes getting up to 35 degrees Celcius.


Tap water is drinkable

South Africa’s drinking water is among the best in the world and is safe for drinking and cooking. If you visit in summer, keep hydrated and wear a hat and sunblock when out in the sun.



Electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC at 50 cycles per second. Three pronged plugs are universal, so take an adapter.




Personal Safety

South African safety precautions are not unlike those recommended when travelling to other countries and major cities. More common sense than hard and fast measures, safety precautions in South Africa mostly require vigilance on the part of the traveller, and sound travel preparation.

Important South African safety advice includes avoiding deserted areas at night, securing valuables such as photographic equipment and wallets on your person, and leaving expensive jewellery in your hotel safe while out and about.

Other safety precautions you may want to consider include:
• Locking valuables and luggage away in the car boot while travelling (never leave handbags or cameras on car seats, whether driving or parked)
• Being vigilant of your luggage and other belongings (never leave them unattended).
• Storing valuables in your hotel safe.
• Limit the amount of money you carry on your person. Also, don't accept offers of assistance at ATMs and keep your PIN secure.
• When using a credit card in restaurants, ask the waiter to bring a portable credit card machine to your table. Report stolen or lost cards immediately.
• Carry a current road map with you. If you're in any doubt about a place you wish to visit or how to get there, have a word with your hotel concierge first, or contact the National Tourism Information and Safety Line (Call Centre) on 0860 121 929 for assistance.
• Only use reputable tour operators and travel and transport services. If you're not sure, ask your hotel to recommend a service provider for you.
• In rural areas, watch out for wild or farm animals - road signage will warn you when you need to take care.
• If you intend travelling to malaria areas, take the necessary prophylaxis before you leave home.


Phoning overseas from South Africa

If you wish to make a call overseas, you must first dial 00, which is South Africa's international access code. You then dial the country code, area code of the city or region and the number of the person you wish to call. e.g. if you make a call to Sydney, Australia, telephone number 456 1234 you must dial 00 612 456-1234.



If you're an adult, you won't need any inoculations unless you're travelling from a yellow-fever endemic area (the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America), in which case you will need certification to prove your inoculation status when you arrive in South Africa.

It is recommended that you have the required inoculations four to six weeks before you travel to South Africa (a yellow fever inoculation certificate only becomes valid 10 days after inoculation - after which it remains valid for 10 years).

Hepatitis B inoculations are recommended for children up to the age of 12 who have not completed the series of injections as infants. Booster doses for tetanus and measles can also be administered.


Medical facilities

Medical facilities in cities and larger towns are world-class. Trained medical caregivers are deployed round the country, and help is never far away.


South African standard time

South African standard time is two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2), one hour in advance of central European winter time and seven hours in advance of United States eastern standard time, throughout the year. There are no time zone differences within the country.


Banks and foreign exchange in SA

South Africa's unit of currency is the Rand.
You'll find South Africa an easy destination. From the moment you step off the plane you'll start seeing banks, bureaux de change and automatic tellers all over.

The banks are generally open from 9am to 3.30pm Mondays through Fridays, and 8.30am to 11am on Saturdays, but those at the airports adjust their hours to accommodate international flights.

All major credit cards can be used in South Africa, with American Express and Diners Club enjoying less universal acceptance than MasterCard and Visa.



There are 11 official languages including English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, and Zulu.

English is spoken everywhere you go. English is the language of the cities, of commerce and banking, of government and official documents. All our road signs and official forms are in English and at any hotel, Bed and Breakfast or Guest House, the service staff will speak to you in English.


Learn the lingo

It’s useful to know some of the slang and lingo to help you acclimatize to this multi-cultured city. South Africans love to speak a mix of English and Afrikaans, Xhosa and English and many more iterations, so it can be quite confusing, but not impossible to get the hang of.




Important Dates

Submission starts

6 November 2017

Submission ends

30 April 2018


Decisions announced

30 May 2018

Early bird registration

January 2018 - 30 June 2018


14 June - 31 July 2018

Submission of final papers 

15 July 2018

WERA conference

3 August - 5 August 2018

Regional Partners

University of Limpopo Logo SolPlaatje U
Wits logo U Joburg logo
NMU logo U FreeState logo
U KZN logo U Venda
U Pretoria U Lesotho
U Swaziland U FortHare
Unisa logo CPUT logo

Umalusi logo