The 19th World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control | Cape Town, South Africa | 24-29 August 2014
Promoting automatic control for the benefit of humankind

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Frequently Asked Questions


Is my accommodation included in my registration fee?
No, your accommodation is at your own extra cost and rates will vary depending on which Congress Accommodation you choose. However, as part of the registration process, the IFAC 2014 Congress Secretariat will be able to assist you with the accommodation reservation and payment process.

What happens if I want to stay in a B&B and not at the Congress Accommodation?
You are very welcome to choose not to stay in one of the IFAC 2014 hotels. Please visit for a list of varied accommodation options. Please note that the Congress Secretariat can only make bookings at the designated Congress hotels and cannot be responsible for accommodation booked independently by delegates.


Where is the IFAC 2014 being held and how do I get there?
IFAC 2014 is being held at the state-of-the-art Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Ideally located on Cape Town's foreshore, adjacent to the Waterfront, the central business district and leading hotels, the CTICC is an exceptional facility that meets the expectations of delegates and organisers alike.

All designated IFAC 2014 Congress Hotels are situated within close walking distance of the CTICC. Directions to CTICC from Cape Town International Airport (Approximately 21 km (20 minutes))

  • Exit the Airport and continue for approximately 3 km
  • Merge onto the N2 HIGHWAY
  • Follow N2 STAD / CITY signs
  • After approximately 18 km move into lane with M6 / SEA POINT / WATERFRONT sign
  • Turn left at traffic light into WALTER SISULU
  • Drive on, the entrance to CTICC will be on your left

For directions to and from the CTICC, visit

Where should I park during the Congress?
Parking is available on a "pay on foot" basis in any of the CTICC parking areas – P1, P2, or P3. Any parking expenses are for delegates’ own accounts and are not included in registration fees.


What are the medical facilities in Cape Town like?
Emergency care is excellent and widely available in Cape Town with world-class medical specialists, international prescriptions drugs, cutting-edge technological facilities and safe blood supply. South Africa has no national health scheme, so it is advisable to purchase travel insurance that will cover medical expenses during the period of your stay.

Who do I call in an emergency?
You can dial 10111 for the Flying Squad (special police services) and 10177 for an ambulance.

Is the water safe to drink?
In the major cities and towns and at most game reserves, tap water is purified, tastes good and is 100% safe to drink.

What sort of precautionary measures do I need to take in regard to protection from the African sun?
The South African sun is strong, with a high ultraviolet rating. Sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 20 or higher is recommended at all times, as well as a hat.


What about safety and security?
Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance to South Africans, but, as always, travellers should take a few basic precautions to ensure a safe and pleasant visit:


  • Never leave your luggage unattended
  • Store valuables in your hotel's safety deposit box or room safe
  • Keep your room locked at all times
  • Hand in the room keys or cards whenever you leave your hotel


  • Always keep luggage where you can see it, at any transport hub

On the mountain

  • Do not walk alone. Always ensure that you are in a group of at least 4 people
  • Take your mobile phone with the emergency number punched in. Ensure it is hidden
  • Always let someone know which route you will take and how long you will be
  • If you get lost, stay where you are
  • Landmarks: be aware of your surroundings
  • Clothing: always take rain gear and a jersey
  • Take water, sunblock, wear a hat and take a snack
  • Maps: these are available in leading book stores and from Table Mountain National Park offices
  • If you are threatened, don't resist, just hand over your goods

At the beach

  • Always swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard
  • Never swim alone
  • Don't dive into unfamiliar waters - what may seem deep could be very shallow. Feet first is safer
  • Protect your skin from overexposure to UVA and UVB rays by wearing waterproof sunscreen with a high protection factor of 20+. Avoid the sun between the hottest times of the day: 11h00 - 15h00
  • Always wear a hat to protect your face
  • Drink plenty of water regularly to avoid dehydration even if you don't feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool and to replace lost salts through sweating

Sightseeing and entertainment

  • Use registered, qualified tour guides
  • Don't leave handbags under tables, on the backs of chairs or on restroom hooks
  • Travel in groups, especially if you are visiting a nightclub, bar or shebeen you haven't been to before
  • Don't use train services after dark, if at all possible

In the street

  • Obtain a map, and plan your route before you set out on an excursion
  • Consult your hotel or nearest Visitor Information Centre for a reliable taxi service
  • When crossing the street, use pedestrian crossings where possible and be aware of oncoming motorists at all times. Look right, look left and look right again before crossing
  • Don't carry large sums of money, and avoid counting in the open
  • Explore in groups and stick to well-lit, busy streets, especially at night
  • Please don't give money to street children. If you wish to assist them in a meaningful way, contact any Visitor Information Centre to obtain a list of organisations who would be most grateful for the assistance

Money and travel documents

  • Travel with certified copies of your valuable documents, and keep originals in a safe place
  • Countersign no more than half your traveller's cheques
  • Separate your cash and credit cards and don't carry all your cash / traveller's cheques with you during the day. Rather store half of them in your hotel room safe
  • Don't allow strangers to assist you with ATM transactions. If your card gets stuck, immediately call that ATM's helpline number
  • Be alert, and never turn your back while your ATM card is in the machine
  • Report lost passports and visas, without delay to the South African Police Services (SAPS)

On the road

  • Familiarise yourself with local rules of the road. Remember, South Africa is a left-hand drive country
  • Plan your route and fuel consumption in advance. Fuel can only be purchased with cash. Credit cards are not accepted
  • Have phone numbers of your destination in hand, in case you get lost
  • Keep the car doors locked at all times, the car windows wound up and any valuables locked in the boot
  • Never pick up strangers or ask them for directions. Rather go to the nearest business or petrol station if you get lost
  • Pay special attention to speed limits, road signs and traffic markings
  • It is compulsory to carry a translation of your driver's license, if it is not in English

Who do I call in an emergency?
You can dial 10111 for the Flying Squad (special police services) and 10177 for an ambulance.

What procedures should I follow in case of an unfortunate incident?
Although incidents of crime against tourists happen rarely in South Africa, tourists should still be aware of the basic emergency procedures to follow should anything happen. It recommended that you:

  • Go to the nearest safe and public place
  • Call the Police Emergency Number (10111) which is free from a phone box or landline, and briefly explain what happened
  • If you are using a mobile phone, call 112 and your call will be transferred to the appropriate emergency service
  • If you have been injured, the call centre will dispatch an ambulance to take you to the nearest hospital. Alternatively, you can call the National Ambulance Service (10177)


Where do I find a timetable of the congress proceedings?
To find out more about the programme, click here.


What is included in my registration fee?
Standard and Student Registration fees include:

  • Access to all Congress sessions
  • Tea breaks on all Congress days
  • Access to the IFAC 2014 Exhibition
  • IFAC 2014 Congress proceedings
  • Two papers for Standard Registrants and one paper for Student Registrants
  • Access to the Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception
  • Access to the Congress Banquet
  • Access to the Closing Ceremony and Farewell Reception

Registration fees do not include:

  • Lunch
  • Pre-Congress Tutorials
  • Additional papers (in excess of the included two papers for Standard Registrants and one paper for Student Registrants)
  • Additional pages (in excess of the page allowance for accepted papers)
  • Accommodation costs
  • Travel costs
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa or inoculation costs

However, you are able to reserve and pay for your accommodation at congress hotels through the IFAC 2014 registration process.


What are the IFAC 2014 social events that I can attend with my accompanying person?
The IFAC 2014 promises an enjoyable social programme for delegates and their accompanying persons. There will be an Opening Ceremony and Welcome Reception, Banquet and Closing Ceremony and Farewell Reception. In addition to these, there are day tours and half-day tours can be organised by the IFAC 2014 Congress Secretariat.
For more information, click here.

What kind of family activities does Cape Town have to offer?
Cape Town's natural beauty is conducive to an active, outdoor lifestyle and typical family activities can include lazy afternoons on some of the world’s most beautiful sandy beaches, quiet strolls through our natural forestation and hikes through gentle mountain ranges which offer your family the chance to interact with indigenous wildlife and clean, fresh air.

Cape Town also offers a rich variety of museums, restaurants and shopping centers – most within walking distance from the CTICC and the IFAC 2014 Congress Hotels. Children and adults alike will be amazed by the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Cape Town Natural History Museum and Planetarium, as well as the world-famous Waterfront, which offers over 400 retail outlets selling everything from fashion, homeware and curios, to jewellery, leather goods and audiovisual equipment, as well as serving as a gateway to Robben Island.


What is the time zone in Cape Town and South Africa?
South Africa operates two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time throughout the year, making it an hour ahead of Central European Winter Time, seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Winter Time and seven hours behind Australian Central Time.

What is the currency used in South Africa?
The South African currency is the Rand
Click here to view an up-to-date currency converter
Foreign currency can be exchanged at most commercial banks and Bureaux de Change are widely available.

Typical banking hours:
Monday - Friday: 09h00 - 15h30
Saturdays: 08h30 - 11h00
ATMs are widely available.

Do I need to have any inoculations or vaccines before I travel?
The only inoculation requirement for visitors is a yellow fever vaccination certificate for those entering South Africa within six days of leaving a yellow fever zone (including flight stop overs). All African countries (with the exception of Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland) require a certificate. Babies of one year old or less are exempt. For more information please see here.

Malaria is endemic in some parts of Mpumalanga, Northern Province, and KwaZulu-Natal and it is essential to take precautions if you intend to visit these areas. The bilharzia parasite is present in streams, rivers, lakes and dams in some of the northern and eastern parts of the country, and visitors should avoid contact with the water in these regions. There is no immunisation against bilharzia. The closest malaria and bilharzia regions are approximately 1600 kilometers from Cape Town.

What is the climate like in Cape Town and South Africa in August?
It is winter in South Africa at the time of the congress and temperatures can vary. Cool, windy and rainy days characterise winter, with daytime average temperatures ranging between 10 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees. But some chilly days with temperatures below 10 degrees can be expected in mid-winter, and at night time temperatures range from mid teems to below 0 degrees. So prepare for the worst: dress warmly with water proof clothing or bring an umbrella.

South African climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the south-western corner of the country to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the northeast. A small area in the northwest has a desert climate. Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights.

What are the distance and temperature conversions?
Distances throughout South Africa are given in kilometres.
1 mile = 1.62 kilometres
Temperature is given in degrees Celsius.

What electricity outlets are used in most hotels and do I need to buy a special adapter?
The electricity supply is 220-240 volts, 50 Hz. The connection for appliances is a round three-pin plug. The wall plugs are not comparable with Europe, the USA or the East; special adapters are available in most airport duty free shops.

What is the correct etiquette across South Africa?
The dress code across South Africa is mainly casual and smart casual, except in some restaurants and clubs that require more formal attire. Smoking is banned in public buildings and on planes, buses and trains.

What are the disabled facilities like for visitors?
South African Airways provides passenger aid units at all major airports. Many hotels offer facilities for the disabled, as do most rest camps in the Kruger National Park. Wheelchairs and other aides are available for hire in most cities. The larger rental car agencies can provide vehicles with hand controls.

What is the official language of South Africa?
South Africa has 11 official languages and English is spoken throughout the country. French, German and Italian are also spoken at many larger hotels and popular tourist destinations around Sun City.

What sort of paperwork do I need to enter South Africa?
Every visitor to South Africa must have a valid passport and a visa if required. Please ensure that you have at least two (2) blank facing pages in your passport.

A list of South African consulates and embassies may be found on the South African Department of Foreign Affairs website or visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website:
{w} Foreign Affairs
{w} South African Department of Home Affairs

Visa application forms can be downloaded from the South African Home Affairs website:
{w} South African Department of Home Affairs

What are the road facilities like and what are the South African rules of the road?
An excellent road network links the largest metropolitan areas with even the smallest villages. South Africa drives on the LEFT. The speed limit in urban areas is usually 60 km per hour; on rural roads 100 km per hour and on freeways 120 km per hour unless otherwise indicated. Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory; driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence; and traffic laws are strictly enforced.

Public transport such as trains and buses are often not reliable and it is better to rent a vehicle from a reputable car-hire company if you wish to travel long distances. The IFAC 2014 Congress Secretariat will also be arranging pre-booked day tours so that you can experience the beauty of Cape Town without worrying about securing a vehicle.

Valid driver's licenses from visitors' home countries are acceptable provided that they are in English and include the driver's photograph. If your driver's license does not comply with these requirements, you should obtain an International Driving Permit before your departure to South Africa.

What are the shopping facilities like in Cape Town?
Local manufacturers set a high premium on workmanship, and with a favourable exchange rate, visitors can afford to indulge.

Shopping hours in the bigger cities are generally 08h00 to 17h00 on weekdays, 08h00 to 13h00 on Saturdays, and some shops outside of malls are still closed on Sundays. Malls are generally open until 17h00 on Saturday and Sunday, and the V&A Waterfront is open 09h00 - 21h00 7 days a week!

How do I make phone calls in and out of South Africa?
Cape Town telephone dialling codes:
International: +27-21-
National: 021-
National Directory Enquiries: 1023
To call internationally out of South Africa, dial 00 and then the country code. Cell phones are widely available for hire, as are 'starter packs' if your personal handset is compatible with the South African system.

What are the gratuity measures when it comes to tipping?
It is customary to tip waiters, wine stewards, taxi drivers, porters, caddies and other service providers. Depending on the service, the amount should be around 10%-15% of the bill, R5 per suitcase or R20 per golf bag.

Can I claim back VAT (Value Added Tax)?
Currently set at 14%, VAT is included in the marked/quoted price of most goods and services. Foreign visitors may claim back VAT paid on items to be taken out of the country when the total value exceeds ZAR 250.00. Information leaflets on the procedure to follow are available from VAT Refund Administration offices at the Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban International Airports, and at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Final Programme now available Delegate List IFAC 2014 Photos

Key Dates

Opening Ceremony
24 August 2014

First Plenary Session
25 August 2014

Congress Banquet
28 August 2014

Closing Ceremony
29 August 2014

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