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This is a sign of good faith. Properties hold rooms for you, which they could sell to someone else, so if you don't turn up, they lose revenue. By paying a deposit of 50% (industry standard) you show the property that you are intending to arrive and they will accordingly turn others away.
That depends on the property. Many have real time booking calendars, allowing people to book instantly online. If that's the case, bookings are first-come-first-book, and no rooms will be held provisionally unless specifically arranged. Send a request and ask for a specific payment date and they'll get back to you.
This is a security layer which checks that the person making the payment is the authorised cardholder by way of a one-time pin delivered by SMS or a secret code, ensuring the safety of your card.
3D secure is a legislated prerequisite for all online purchases in South Africa.
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SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.