South Africans love to shop. In the Western Cape, we do it well,
and opportunities abound to satisfy any shopaholic’s needs.
Information Provided By:
Most shops in the cities and suburbs are open between 08h00 and
17h00 to 17h30. Shops at major centres like the V&A Waterfront
and Canal Walk open at 09h00 and close at 21h00 or later, even
on Sundays and most public holidays. Informal traders and flea
markets generally unpack before 09h00 and start packing up after
16h00, depending on foot traffic and weather conditions. Muslim-owned
businesses close at noon on Fridays and re-open at 14h00. Cinemas
operate seven days per week, with shows starting at around 09h30,
and last shows at around 22h00.
Most chain stores in shopping centres, cities and suburbs accept
a variety of payment options – cash, credit card (including
Visa, Master Card, Diner’s Club and American Express), and
most debit cards (check with your bank to be sure your debit card
will be accepted overseas). Very few stores accept traveller’s
cheques or foreign currency as payment – so ensure you have
South African Rands or a credit card handy to make payment. Most
shops in smaller villages and towns accept cash only.
All stores must charge the Value Added Tax (VAT) of 14%, but foreign
visitors can claim back VAT on purchases over R250 (see VAT Refund).
For shopping addicts, however, the International Departures lounge
at the Cape Town International Airport provides the opportunity
to buy products from some of South Africa’s leading retailers
– Duty-Free. So be sure to have a good look around for fine
goods at bargain prices before leaving Cape Town!
With its stunning ocean-side setting, Victoria Wharf at the V&A
Waterfront, home to designer label stores and craft markets, offers
visitors the best of everything Cape Town and the Western Cape
have to offer. The Waterfront has been a favourite destination
of Capetonians and visitors since its 1992 re-awakening.
just outside the Cape Town city centre, is one of the biggest
shopping malls in the Southern Hemisphere, offering shoppers a
choice between hundreds of stores offering everything from designer
imports to hand-crafted South African curios. With malls dotted
throughout the Western Cape’s cities and towns – from
Stellenbosch to Knysna and Plettenberg Bay – anyone wanting
to treat that special someone back home to a gift will be spoilt
for choice. The Local Tourism Office in every town will assist
you in finding the shopping mall to suite your needs.
The Western Cape has a variety of bookstores. You may find the
chain stores like CNA and Exclusive Books, but also be on the
look-out for the privately owned bookstores. You will be amazed
at the variety and quality of the books to be found. Staff are
generally well-read and willing to assist. Long Street in Cape
Town is renowned for the diversity of the bookstores. You will
even find a store dealing specifically in comic books.
South Africa, and the Western Cape in particular, has had an interesting
history. Stepping into any one of the hundreds of antique stores
will illustrate this. You may find a Khoi bow and arrow standing
next to an item of Victorian era furniture. The possibilities
are endless. To find these treasures you will need to be vigilant.
Many towns have an antique store. When you arrive in a town, take
a walk down some of the side streets. This is normally where the
antique stores prefer to hide. You will be met by knowledgeable
staff and good value for money prices.
The art scene
has shown tremendous growth over the last ten years. The quality
and variety is exciting and inventive. In the Cape, people have
found art to be a constructive way to express themselves. The
result is a mixture of textures and a kaleidoscope of colour.
You will find art being sold at flea and craft markets, art galleries
and at antique stores. African art is vibrant, colourful, and
always has a story to tell.
Music is one of the elements that makes Cape Town and the Western
Cape such a vibrant place. The people of the Cape enjoy an eclectic
mix. Jazz, rock, classical, R&B, kwaito and traditional African
beats are all part of the Cape music spectrum. We also have a
variety of music stores throughout the Cape province. The bigger
chain stores (Musica, CD Select and Look & Listen) are well
represented in most towns. These stores carry a wide variety of
music for most tastes, including classical music. Music can also
be bought at many supermarket chain stores. They carry more main
stream music. Smaller specialist stores like Syndicate Records
and Outlaw Records are available in Cape Town.
Jewellery has become a popular fashion attraction to Cape Town
and the Western Cape. The designs are creative, if not risqué.
The quality is of the highest standard, and the prices - good
value for money. You may find many designs from the Cape in some
of the leading stores in Europe and America. Jewellery stores
are found in most towns throughout the Cape province. Smaller
towns may only have jewellery stores who sell finished items.
The major cities will have a wide variety of stores to choose
from. Designers are at hand to help you create that perfect piece.
Many stores have studios attached to the premises and visitors
are often invited to experience the creative process firsthand.
There are few wines regions in the world that compares with the
wines of the Western Cape. Cape wines are constantly winning international
awards. Many visitors to the Cape consider a visit to the wine
producing districts a must. Each wine district has at least one
wine route. Most of the wine farms offer cellar tours and you
may buy the local wines direct from the producers. Wines are also
available at specialist wine stores at the V&A Waterfront.
There are two stores – Vaughan Johnson’s Wine Shop
and Caroline’s Fine Wines. You can expect a wide variety
of wines and expert advice. Staff may also assist you in packaging
and shipping your wine to any destination in the world.
and Flea Markets
Cape Town and the Western Cape have an abundance of craft markets.
Most cities and towns have their own craft market. You can experience
the ambience of Greenmarket Square or the bustle of the Sedgefield
Saturday market. There are creative township crafts in Khayelitsha
and home-made delights in Ceres.
become a constructive way of expression and a valuable source
of income. A wide variety of crafts are generally on offer. These
include pottery, beadwork, basket weaving, woodwork, wireworks
and township craft. Township artists use locally available products,
such cans, bottle tops and papier mache to produce a number of
innovative products. The products are sold at good value for money
prices. Depending which craft market in the Cape province you
choose to visit, you may also find a collection of locally produced
and home-made products. These include olives and olive products
in the Riebeek Valley, cheese in Bonnievale, and berries and berry
products in the Stellenbosch area.
markets set up at about 08h00 and start packing up at about 16h00
on weekdays and Saturdays. On Sundays they may pack up at about
14h00. You will have to be early to get the bargains. The Local
Tourism Office in every town will have a full list of all the
craft markets in that area.