Wednesday, 6 November 2019

How to Tip in South Africa

Tipping is a confusing topic because every country has its own etiquette, so much does thank you cost in the rainbow nation?

Car Guards

Service – Car guards only seem to occur in South Africa. They are people who help you with parking and look after your car while you go about your business. There are always two sides to every coin though. Some car guards are legit and are working towards feeding themselves and their families, while some have simply claimed a yellow vest and “watch” your car in between sips of wine. Use your discretion when dealing with car guards, they are not responsible if anything happens to your car, but they will swear on their grave that it is safe under their watch.
Tip – R2 – R5 per parking
Do – Make sure you have some small change available (they don’t usually carry change)
Don’t – Feel like you HAVE to leave a tip, especially if they seem drunk or if they are nowhere near your car when you return.

Taxi Drivers

Service – These guys will drive you to your requested destination. In South Africa, there are two types of taxis on the roads, minivan taxis, and metered cabs. The minivan taxis don’t require a tip, but the metered cabs do, depending on the service. Tip – Round up to the nearest 10 or leave up to R20 for city-to-out-of-town driving
Do – Judge your tip by the number of stops you make and the distance you are taken
Don’t – Be bullied into a set price, always ask for the meter to be put on

Hotel Staff

Service – Porters are the guys who take your bags to your room, while another team will cook and bring you’re your food. Housekeepers keep your room clean and tidy during your stay and other general staff may wait on you in the hotel restaurant or organise books and tours for you.
Tip for Porter – R10 – R100
Tip for Room Service – Leftover change
Tip for General Staff Box – R100 – R500 depending on the length of your stay and meals.
Do – Carry envelopes for tips you want to give to certain people
Don’t – Feel like you have to tip at self-catering lodges

Bar Staff

Service – Bar staff serve you your drinks at the bar and help you to enjoy your get-together. When tipping bar staff in South Africa, it’s quite common to leave small change on small rounds and a bigger tip when ordering a bigger round.
Tip – 10% - 20% of the bill
Do – Use your discretion and value the bartender’s time.
Don’t – Leave money on the bar, give it directly to the specific bar staff you would like to tip


Service – They take your orders at restaurants, bring you your food and drinks then clean up after you are done eating and drinking.
Tip – 10% of the bill, more for special service
Do – Check your bill, sometimes the tip is included.
Don’t – Tip more than you would like if you haven’t received good service.

Petrol Attendant

Service – Petrol attendants are also a South African only service. These people fill your tank at the petrol station while you remain in your car. Depending on what you need, they will also check your oil, water, tyre pressure and wash your windows.
Tip – R2 – R5 per petrol stop
Do – Take into account the services being offered, like checking your tyre pressure and washing your windows.
Don’t – Feel obliged to give a big tip, or any tip at all, especially if you just make a quick, simple stop at the petrol station, especially if you have to wait long and hoot for the petrol attendant.

Always remember, as, in other countries, a tip is an acknowledgment of a certain kind of service, so use your discretion and be the judge of your own experience.

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