Living in South Africa: A Guide to Moving to South Africa as an Expat

Even though most of the people think about safari and wild animals when they are thinking about South Africa, this is also a wonderful place for living. South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa. Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Natal, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, North West, and Western Cape are the nine provinces of South Africa. Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, and East London are wonderful and very well-known cities! If you are thinking of moving to South Africa, go ahead, it is a wonderful place! But, before you move, we will talk about things that you might be interested to find out about South Africa! So, let’s start!

Living in South Africa: A Guide to Moving to South Africa as an Expat

South Africa has 47 million residents of different origins, languages, and cultures. Around 79% of people are black (African), 9% white, 9% mixed and 2.5% Asian and Indian. If you are an expat who enjoys a relaxed, outdoorsy lifestyle, South Africa is the right place for you. Some of those outdoor attractions are vast Winelands, surf, wildlife, mountains, trails and, of course, white sandy beaches. However, if you are moving to South Arica, you should know that the living standards are high at relatively low costs. Therefore, your money will last way longer than in any other country! Also, relocating to another country can be simplified if you hire a professional moving company to assist you with the move.

Let’s go through the things you should know before you decide to move to South Africa!

  • Costs Of Living
  • Language
  • Climate
  • Job and Career Opportunities
  • Facts that every Expat should know about living in South Africa

Cape Town is at 179th place on the cost of living list! Life in South Africa is affordable, no matter where you choose to live!

Moving to South Africa – Cost of Living

The cost of living in South Africa is low in comparison to other western countries. According to the rankings from 2012, Johannesburg takes the 154th and Cape Town 179th place on the cost of living list. Tunisia is 209th and it is the least expensive city for expats in the region. Expats will have high standards of living and receive domestic help, if they wish so, as well. General services, eating in restaurants and alcohol are also very cheap in South Africa.

In addition, if you have decided to move to South Africa, you should also know how to protect high-value items when moving!


If you are a person who loves languages, this can be a place for you. Besides English, that most of the people speak, you will be able to hear ten more languages. If you want to learn another language but at the same time enjoy wildlife and outdoor activities, moving to South Africa is a great idea! These are the languages you can hear but also learn:

  • Afrikaans
  • English
  • IsiXhosa
  • IsiNdebele
  • Sesotho
  • Sepedi
  • IsiZulu
  • Tshivenda
  • Setswana
  • Xitsonga
  • Siswati

Want to learn a language other than English? If you move to South Africa, you will hear people talking in 11 different languages!

Moving to South Africa – Climate

Since South Africa is a large country, the climate can be different and depends on the part/region you’ve decided to move to. If you decide to move to Western Cape, you will be able to live in an area that has a Mediterranean climate. However, a semi-desert climate awaits you if you decide to settle down somewhere in the interior of the country. The semi-desert climate brings cold, summer rainfalls and dry winters. In addition, if you have made the decision of moving to South Africa, here are some fun facts about Cape Town!

Job and Career Opportunities

There are a lot of job and career opportunities in South Africa. You should know that females, colored people and people with disabilities will be preferred for job opportunities because South Africa has affirmative action policy in place! Because of South African policies, foreigners can sometimes be overlooked if they are looking for a job because locals have privileges. But, in some areas of South Africa, you will definitely find a job and build a good career, especially if you are a skilled worker.

Facts that every Expat should know about living in South Africa

Let’s see the facts that you should know about if you are planning to live in South Africa!

  • Hospitals. Some of the facts that everyone who’s living in South Africa should know concern hospital bills and fees. If you end up in a state hospital and if you are treated there, you will have to pay for their services. The fees depend on your salary and the number of dependents you have.
  • Car Guards. You will be able to see many “car guards” in almost every city. A common thing is to tip them off when you return to pick up your car. Pay attention if they are wearing a badge or a bib because that’s how you will know that you are using official services.
  • Robots! Another fact that you should know is that South Africans are using the term robot for traffic lights! You will definitely see a lot of those “robots” since they are placed on the corners of most streets!

There are a few facts you should know about if you are moving to South Africa. The most common one is that they use the term “robot” for traffic lights.

Professional Moving Company

In order to relocate to South Africa, you will most likely need to hire a professional mover to assist you with your move. Every professional mover has a license and years of experience in the moving industry. They also have well-trained workers and excellent communication with their customers. A professional moving company will calculate the costs of your move in advance and put everything in a written document with a signature. You should always try to avoid a moving scam. Therefore, do not trust cheap moving companies Cape Town!

A professional mover will provide a lot of moving services for their customers. Some of those services are:

  • Packing and Proper Labeling
  • Shipping Containers and a wide pool of Moving Trucks
  • Security and Safety
  • Moving Insurance
  • Storage Units/Solutions
  • Special Services (moving heavy or bulky items, such as a home safe or piano, etc.)

These were the things you should know if you are moving to South Africa as an expat! Hopefully, you will find this article useful! We wish you good luck and happy move to your new, lovely destination! Have a good trip! Inc.1-0

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