Living in South Africa
South Africa is located at the southern tip of Africa. It has a population of around 56 million. Most of them are Africans. There is also a considerable population of whites, coloured, and Asians.
Even though South Africa is mostly known for its wildlife safaris and natural reserves, its cities are not too different from the one’s in the west.
South Africa also has giant skyscrapers, impressive shopping malls and top of the line restaurants and bars. However expats are bound to get overwhelmed by the abundance of natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle.
Expats coming here can also expect plenty of job opportunities in sectors like engineering, education, information technology etc.
The cost of living in the country is also low as compared to western countries which is why foreigners prefer to live here. Expats mostly live in cities like Johannesburg and Cape town. Both of these cities are different from each other. Johannesburg has a more cosmopolitan environment while Cape town has beaches, mountains and a much laidback environment.
Expats shouldn’t find much difficulty in adjusting to the culture of here.
The only problem in South Africa is that it's still not considered to be a safe place especially for foreigners. However with the right care taken safety shouldn’t remain an issue.
Politics in South Africa
South Africa is a parliamentary representative democratic republic. The president of South Africa is the head of the state and the head of the government.
General elections take place every 5 years.
African National Congress is the most dominant party since the end of apartheid. Most of the Africans, which comprise 80% of the population, are loyal to African National Congress. African National Congress is the ruling party in the national legislature and also rules 8 out of 9 provinces.
The second most popular party is Democratic Alliance which rules the remaining province.
Economy of South Africa
From being an agricultural economy South Africa has transformed into one of the largest industrial economies contributing about 24% of the continents gross domestic product.
It also produces about 45% of the electricity that the continent needs.
Even though there is a lot of development taking place in South Africa the unemployment rate is still very high. It is expected to take some years for the country to sort this issue. The per capita GDP has also not increased proportionately which has increased the wealth gap between rich and poor.
However, after the end of apartheid in 1994, the African middle class have grown notably, increasing the gross domestic product from 136 billion US Dollars to 408 billion US Dollars.
Renting and Buying property in South Africa
Expats planning to stay in South Africa for years may choose to buy a property here. Non-residents can too buy property in South Africa. The only thing they have to deal with is finance, as they may get only 50% of loan from the banks. However, expats having work permit do not have this restriction and may get the whole amount from the bank.
Renting a property in South Africa is fairly easy.
You may get the right kind of property as per your needs. People mostly consult a property agent to do the needful, but if you want you can also look for property ads in local newspapers and on a few websites.
The Standard of accommodation in South Africa is quite high. The houses are spacious and finding huge houses for relative low rent is common.
Visa and Immigration
Writer Relocations provides visa and immigration services for South Africa and many other countries across the globe. You can get in touch with our executives for further assistance.
Schools in South Africa
There are three types of schools in South Africa: Private schools, Model C Schools and Government schools.
Private schools are far more expensive than other public schools but offer great quality of education. These schools are mostly attended by high-income families.
Model C schools are administered and funded by parents and alumni. Some of the best schools are of this kind. Their fees are somewhere in between private and public schools.
Government schools are funded by the province it’s located in.
Most of the schools are not well funded and the quality of education is really low. Which is why, expats usually prefer sending their children to International Schools. Here's a list of International Schools in South Africa for you to choose from.
Weather of South Africa
As South Africa is located in the southern hemisphere, its climate is the opposite to the climate in European countries. It enjoys a plenty of sunshine at least for 7 months in a year.
The major factors influencing the weather is the altitude and the oceans surrounding it.
April and May is the time when the temperatures go up to 32°C. May to August are the winter months, this is when the temperature drops.
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