South Africa is a conservative society and it is best to err on the side of caution in terms of dress.

Therefore, men are advised to wear a collar and tie and women to wear smart, business-like dresses or suits.

If meeting business contacts on a social basis, it is possible to dress more casually but not too casually.

Remember that the climate changes from season to season, so check before you go to make sure you have the appropriate weight of clothing for the time of year.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in South Africa

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in South Africa. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in South Africa and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips