A thriving agricultural sector yields brilliant fresh produce,
fruit, meat and wines and the long coastline produces very fresh
and cheap goods. Bars and cocktail lounges have bartender service.
Liquor stores are open weekdays from
9.00 am to 6.00 pm and Saturdays from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm, although
alcohol is now available in supermarkets outside these hours and
under certain circumstances on a Sunday.
specialties include Sosaties (which is a type of kebab),
Bobotie (a curried mince dish, of which waterbolmmetjiebredie, made
with a local water plant, is predominantly good). Potjiekos is a
casserole cooked for hours in an iron pot, generally outside, and
is a popular South African dish. Other specialties are Bredies (meat,
tomato and vegetable casseroles), Biltong (seasoned dried meat)
and Poetoepap (a sort of polenta made with white maize, is largely
eaten with meat).
Popular seafood includes oysters, crayfish (or rock lobster) and
linefish (examples of which are Kabbeljou, Kingklip, Cob and Red
South Africa's national drinks include Umqombothi,
a home-brewed sorghum beer and brilliant local red and white wines
(including chardonnay), sherries, brandies and some unusual liqueurs.
The cinemas in South Africa show a variety of international
films. In the large cities, there are regular plays, symphony concerts
and operas. The local music scene is thriving,
there is a unique South African ‘township’ jazz style,
examples of which can be seen in all large cities. There are several
nightclubs and discos open until late and the large hotels often
have live music or cabaret.
Upmarket boutiques and supermarkets
usually coexist with a mass of street traders selling arts, crafts
and anything else beneficial. The stores in South Africa are modern.
Special purchases include Swakara hand crafted
gold, gold, diamond and semi-precious stone jewellery, coats, leather,
suede and fur goods, ceramics and crafts, of which there are now
a mystifying variety including several from the rest of the continent.
Local wine, liqueur and brandy are cheap and usually brilliant.
General shopping hours are Monday to Friday from
9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Saturdays 9.00 am to 2.00 pm, although there
is an increasing trend to open later and all weekend in major tourist
Normally 10 to 15 % of the bill is given if the
service is not included.
It is customary to tip waiters, porters, taxi drivers, caddies and
room service. By law, hotel prices do not include a service charge.