I have just arrived in Cape Town as a french intern a few days ago and I wanted to give you some tips to get your visa if you are a french student and want to study there. Actually, you can apply for different kinds of visa but if you want to work as an intern in the context of your studies, you may apply for a Work exchange programme.
It took me 5 weeks to get my visa ready. To start the procedure, I directly went to the South African consulate in Paris to get the form BI-1738 with the list of all documents required. If you go there, you have to notice that the consulate is only open from 9 to 12 am from Monday to Friday.
Here are the document required for the visa :
Some documents are easy to gather but it may take some time for others, like your certificate of no criminal record or your birth certificate.Moreover, you have to consider that you must translate some documents into english. You have to get a certificate translation of these documents. It does not take long, one or two days at the most, but it is rather expensive : 35€ by sheet. I personally did it via : http://www.traductionassermentee.net/contact-2
Last thing that really matters is that it takes some time to gather the different documents, but it is also pretty long to get the visa ready! The embassy is delivering it depending on your date of departure. I personnally have waited 5 weeks, insisted a lot on the phone, went to the embassy a few times, to finally get my visa 2 days before leaving.
If you have questions, please feel free to ask me !
Adress of the South African Embassy in Paris:
59 quai d'Orsay, 75007 Paris