Before leaving UK we sought many assurances having been confronted by negatives about these issues. Believe you me we were nervous and encountered the irritation of many regulars on here telling us how wrong we were.
Rest assurred they were more than right us it was safe and indeed easy as we have just returned from 3 weeks driving in a big circle around KZN and covering over 2000 kms and can honestly say that we found it a total pleasure. Most of the roads were in a far better condition than in the UK, on more rural roads areas with potholes were in most parts clearly signposted and even the areas with untarred roads were often less bumpy than some of the roads that are now quite awful in the UK especially after our last winter. We observed yesterday just how many potholes we came across in a 2ml drive here at home on a side road - more than in South Africa for sure!
Filling up was easy and a pleasure and getting this done for you along with all the joys of windscreen washing, tyre checks etc without leaving the car for a minimal tip was like returning to the garages of old in the UK. We used a sat Nav BUT found the maps and signage excellent and in some cases even more accurate in rural areas than TomTom and can honestly say we NEVER felt at risk.
As for the actual standards of driving we found them to be BETTER than we encounter in the UK and never had one hiccup once we had got used to the principles of overtaking courtesies. Yes, we did avoid City driving but we were in Ladysmith at the end of the month when very busy and even there we managed the very crowded roads.
On arrival at Jo'Burg we bought an MTN Sim card for our phone which was installed and activated for us all we needed was our passport and having popped in any required numbers including emergency numbers we felt secure in event of any hiccups and would reassure anyone now not to worry as long as you stay as alert as you would anywhere in the world. A big bonus to us is the cheap fuel as well.