Public telephones in South Africa

Public Telephones
Public Telephones like these are operated by Telkom, South Africa's land-line service provider. Some are coin-operated, whereas others require a phone card (which is obviously easier for Telkom as they don't have to collect money from the phones each day). :)

Coin-operated phones are blue, while cardphones are green... so your guess is as good as mine in this case. I unfortunately failed to check these phones (at the V&A Waterfront). For plenty of information about how to phone to and from South Africa, read this article on the SouthAfrica.Info website - it's pretty informative. Alternatively, if you'd simply like some information about Telkom's phonecards, you'll find the information here.

Phonecards can be purchased from shops that display the Telkom logo. Visit this page on their site for more information.

13 thoughts on “Public telephones in South Africa

  1. Cristina

    it is funny. I’ve done the some photos, exactley the some, from the some angle.
    and another one of a man on the phone like the Steve ones.
    I’m very keen on this blog because I had the opportunity to know so many views of Cape Town that I didn’t know and after seeing the photo, I always went to see the place in person. Thank you!!!

  2. Paul

    Post author

    AB, I guess that they are being used less. This pic was taken at the crack of dawn, hence why you don’t see anyone using the phones – but if I think about it, I do often see folk using them.

    Mobile phones are largely downscaling the need for public landlines like these, but I think folk often use pay-as-you-go mobile phones, and often run very low on airtime. Also, mobile calls are significantly more expensive and while I wouldn’t even think of using these phones, I’m sure that there are many who would save their airtime for emergencies. I suppose they do come in handy when your mobile phone’s battery runs flat… or if it’s lost/stolen. :)

    One thing that we’ve found is that very low-cost technologies such as mxit are making communication very affordable. Check out the article here.

    Sorry… this was perhaps a little more information than what you were looking for. :)

  3. Paul

    Post author

    Steve, nice one! Did you manage to catch one of him talking on the phone?

    Eleonora, you and I, we have this thing in common. ;)

    Cristina, did you post your photo somewhere that we could see it? And, tell me, do you find that you even use the links to maps that I sometimes include in the article?

  4. Cristina

    I’m very curious and I open all the links of the article you write, they are always very interesting and very useful for me.
    All my photos are in photobucket, but with a pass, sorry

  5. Steve Crane

    No, unfortunately not. I missed him trying to use the card phone. Just after I took this I heard one of the other stallholders directing him to another one some way away. I guess that one or both of them were not South Africans as they spoke English to one another. Probably from up north somewhere.

  6. Beverley

    I actually used one of these using a card to phone back to the UK on our first ever visit to Cape Town some 4 years ago – they have a well cared for look to them..

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