South Africa: An Expat Favorite

Culture Tips/Etiquette , Experiences Abroad Nov 19, 2018 No Comments

South Africa is a middle-income country with 55 million residents. It is a melting pot of culturally, linguistically, racially and religiously diverse people. Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban and Johannesburg are cosmopolitan cities and the main destinations for foreign professionals.

In general, foreigners love the country’s magnificent scenery and pleasant climate. They have more time to do things they like and have a better overall quality of life in South Africa than in their home country. Foreigners find it easy to get settled and organize their finances, health care, housing, childcare, and utilities when they move to the country’s main professional destinations. Many foreigners say their work-life balance is better; they have more affordable domestic help than elsewhere, live in better accommodations and enjoy a healthier diet.

Overall, major cities are affordable destinations for expats. Cape Town is a popular destination for study-abroad programs and internships for international students.

When it comes to comparing home prices in South Africa’s three largest cities, properties in Cape Town are generally more expensive than homes in Johannesburg and Durban. However, there is a wide range in the average sales prices per square meter in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. In-depth research is essential before choosing a house or location in South Africa.

When it comes to working in South Africa, the maximum regular work time allowed is 45 hours per week. The average workweek is usually from 40 to 45 hours in factories and 37.5 hours in offices. Overtime is voluntary, and workers must be paid one time-and-a-half for overtime and double time on Sundays. No more than three hours of overtime is allowed per day, with only ten hours of overtime permitted per week (on top of the regular work time of 45 hours per week). These restrictions do not apply to senior managers and sales staff. Many employers pay a 13th-month salary as a (Christmas) bonus and support pension funds for employees.

In general, working and living in South Africa are positives for foreign nationals, who enjoy much the country has to offer.

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