I used wine compound yeast (yeast + nutrient) for years in making cider - use it without hesitation - you'll get the results you need and it'll allow for bottle carbonation. A lot of us do straight juice fermentation - do a search here for "Turbo Cider" - and you can make decent stuff from juice to glass in about 10 days (assuming you want it fizzy) - just fermentation with compound take about 5 days. You can tell if it's done by using a beer hydrometer (ciders will read 1.000 to 0.0995) or as a rule of thumb watch for when the yeast settles and the cider goes clear.
Fermentation temps arent as fussy as beer, but going above 24 degrees during ferment isnt reccomended as you'll end up with nasty fusel alcohols being produced. These days, I tend to ferment my ciders at about 18 degrees - they turn out great.
I've been reading about the situation in SA - I dont agree with public measures to strongarm people over alcohol consumption (the minimum unit price in the UK was an example, if slightly less draconian that what you're experiencing) - although some of your compatriots have done some stupid things in trying to make hooch which isn't helping your cause.