South Africa


Interesting Facts

  • Three capital cities – Cape Town (legislative capital), Bloemfontein (judicial capital), and Pretoria (executive capital)
  • Eleven official languages
  • World’s first human heart transplant was conducted in Cape Town in 1967
  • First African country to host a Soccer World Cup in 2010

Key Market Alerts

  • Most multinationals are relocated to either Johannesburg or Cape Town. Other major cities include Durban, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth and East London.
  • South Africa’s lease practices are well regulated and fair to the landlord and tenant
  • Health insurance is essential and private health care is world class
  • Crime is a real concern in South Africa but can be managed through good security practices.

An Overview of South Africa

South Africa’s economic growth has been less vigorous than other African countries in recent years. However South Africa remains the second largest economy in Africa after Nigeria. Johannesburg is the country’s economic hub, however Cape Town also has a large expatriate population. South Africa’s major port is located in Durban.

Living in South Africa

The standard of living for expatriates in South Africa is high. Good quality expatriate housing is readily available in the major cities as well as a wide range of goods and services. South Africa is known for its spectacular beauty, abundant wildlife and temperate climate. Outdoor activities abound to suit people of all persuasions from sedate to adventurous, including to name a few: world class golf courses, hiking, surfing, cycling and safaris.

Driving in South Africa can be an adventure as drivers are not always disciplined or courteous. While a car (or two for families) is considered essential due to the lack of public transport, it is not necessary for expatriates to hire drivers.

Housing in South Africa

South Africa’s real estate market is well developed, with a great many agencies, both local and international, represented in the market. There is a relatively wide selection of homes – from apartments to townhouses, homes in gated communities and stand-alone homes. There are plenty of furnished apartments, but fewer furnished family homes. Most expatriates choose to live in gated communities or secure compounds. In Johannesburg expatriates favour the Northern suburbs, while in Cape Town the Southern suburbs, Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl are preferred.

Schooling in South Africa

The education system in South Africa consists of pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education. There are a number of international schools in Johannesburg and Cape Town (American, British, French and German). South Africa private schools are of a very high standard recognised locally and internationally, however places in these schools are extremely limited at present.

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