South Africa is an absolutely stunning country that possesses a very rich and unique history, which is why so many expats flock to South Africa for the chance to live there. What is difficult for many of these expats to realize is that there are certain aspects of living in South Africa and Africa in general that are difficult to navigate as an expat. Some examples of this can be related to the crime, income disparity, and difficulty of securing a visa there.
In spite of the disadvantages, living in South Africa does have perks related to the local wine industry, beautiful sights, and English speaking sector of the population. Before relocating to South Africa, it is important to assess whether the lifestyle is suitable to your needs as an expat. In doing so, you will be able to make the choice that is right for you and your family. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of living in South Africa:
Advantages of Living in South Africa
Combination of Many Cultures: South Africa speaks a plethora of languages; eleven to be exact. Even though English is one of the main languages spoken, South Africa also has languages that are a combination from their tribal ancestry and colonial past that are still spoken today. As far as cultural exposure, South Africa truly provides a unique glimpse into history that few countries can offer today. As an expat, it is thrilling to walk into a business meeting and hear five different languages being spoken at once that are not the traditional languages studied in school such as German, Chinese, and Spanish. Experiences such as this are what truly makes South Africa a gem to discover.
Gorgeous Sights: In South Africa, there are so many wonderful sights to see. From safaris to touring the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa is truly a gorgeous country. Additionally, the former rugby celebrities have gone into the wine vineyard business is Cape Town and have made stunning vineyards to tour that have produced some sensational Pinotage in recent years.
Superior Education System: South Africa does have a wonderful education to offer. The key is being enrolled in the proper schools. If the student is able to attend to English speaking schools and then attend university, there are a plethora of opportunities available to them growing up in South Africa.
Diverse Employment Opportunities: For the foreigners that have been able to carve a niche for themselves, there are wonderful employment opportunities available to them. The most important aspect of acclimating themselves there is having or making local ties. Once foreigners do this in South Africa, the strong emphasis of English in the job market does make wonderful careers possible in law, multinational jobs, tourism industry positions, and roles in the study of the diverse animal species that South Africa has to offer.
English Language Level: South Africa does have a very high level of English. This is a major asset to foreigners that would like to move to South Africa. Integrating oneself into a country that has a high level of English is ideal for many foreigners since English has become one of the essential languages of global commerce.
Disadvantages of Living in South Africa
High Crime Rate: South Africa does have a very high crime rate that prospective expats need to be aware of. Be sure that you are considering the crime rate when deciding where to live in South Africa. Also, be sure that you are practicing the proper home safety precautions to avoid robberies.
Extreme Racism: South Africa has gone through many trials and tribulations over the years and there still is a race divide. It is wise to be aware of this in order to avoid uncomfortable situations while residing in South Africa.
Income Disparity: Within South Africa, there is a substantial class divide. The reason for this is that the classes were separated by the prior government. This has created an enormous disparity in both income and education level. It is essential to be aware of this climate still existing in South Africa today before moving there as an expat.
Expensive Lifestyle: South Africa can be very expensive to expats. Due to the beauty that the country possesses, there is some very expensive real estate available there. Be sure that your employment position has the proper budget to live well in South Africa. This way you will be able to enjoy the gorgeous sights and delicious cuisine that the country has to offer. Here you can take a closer look at the living expenses in South Africa and here you can check the best exchange rate for your currency.
Job Shortage to Foreigners: If you do not have connections in South Africa, it can be difficult to be hired. This is why it is best to arrive in South Africa with a solid job offer. If you do so, you will avoid depleting your savings as you look for employers that will sponsor your visa.
Moving to South Africa – Final Remarks on the Subject
In sum, South Africa is a divine place to reside. It offers a great deal of culture to expats that are desiring a taste of Africa that has less security concerns than many other parts of Africa. That being said, expats have to be careful with their valuables in South Africa due to the income disparity. Keeping this in mind will be essential in order to have a positive experience while living in South Africa. With these precautions in mind, South Africa is a wonderful country to consider living in as an expat that offers extraordinary beauty, unique culture, and an insightful history. Be sure to consider South Africa as one of your choices when considering where to expatriate around the globe.