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Calling From South Africa

Calling to South Africa

Making Calls while in South Africa

Making Calls while in South Africa

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General Tips for Making Phone Calls within South Africa

Always dial a preliminary 0 for any domestic long-distance calls within South Africa.  Follow this with the 2-digit area code or cellular prefix and, lastly, the 7-digit subscriber number.

Mobile phone calls within South Africa

All South African cellular phones have 2-digit cellular prefixes.  These are followed by 7-digit subscriber numbers.   
Due to mobile number portability, these prefixes no longer necessarily identify the provider being used.  Cellular prefixes always begin with 7 or 8: 

  • 72-xxx-xxxx
  • 73-xxx-xxxx
  • 74-xxx-xxxx
  • 76-xxx-xxxx
  • 78-xxx-xxxx
  • 79-xxx-xxxx
  • 82-xxx-xxxx
  • 83-xxx-xxxx
  • 84-xxx-xxxx
  • 85-xxx-xxxx

Always dial the preliminary 0 for domestic calls to cell phones.  e.g. 0-84-xxx-xxxx.  For an international call, do not include the preliminary 0: from New York to a cellular phone in South Africa, dial 00-27-78-xxx-xxxx.

Receiving calls from abroad

If you wish to call South Africa from abroad, first dial the international access code and country code, followed by the area code and subscriber number.  You should not the preliminary 0 for international calls.  e.g.  For a call to Pretoria from London, dial 00-27-12-xxx-xxxx.

Other calls and numbers

Toll-free numbers in South Africa begin with 80.  Always dial the preliminary 0 when you call these numbers within South Africa.  e.g. 0-80-xxx-xxxx.  These calls will carry an international charge if you call from abroad.

The following toll-free numbers are reserved for public services:


  • 10111Police
  • 10177Ambulance


  • 1023 Domestic Directory Assistance
  • 0903International Directory Assistance

Tips for Calling Internationally from South Africa

South Africa’s international access code is 00.  If you are calling internationally from South Africa, always dial 00 first, followed by the country code for the country you are calling, area code, and subscriber number.  e.g. For a call to a Chicago phone from Cape Town dial 00-1-312-xxx-xxxx.

Public telephones in South Africa may be coin-operated or card-operated.  However, many coin-operated telephones do not work.  All pay phones require a minimum of 80¢ for a local call.  Cards can be purchased at newsstands and post offices for units of R20 ($3), R50 ($7.45), R100 ($15), and R200 ($30).  Avoid making calls from your hotel; surcharges are almost always expensive.  Phone cards are definitely the wisest choice.

Internet cafes exist in urban areas and at tourist sites.


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