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Country Facts
Working week:Monday – Friday
08:00 – 17:00
Driving:Drive on Left side of the road
Area:1,221,037 sq. km
Capital City:Johannesburg
Language:Afrikaans, English, Southern Ndebele,
Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho,
Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Ven
Religion:Christian 79.7%
GDP:$10,136 per capita
Time Zone:SAST (UTC +2)

South Africa

Relocation Africa has been servicing Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, in South Africa for 24 years successfully.  We have serviced outlying locations for adhoc projects but these will incur an additional fees.  With larger projects in outlying areas we are able to recruit and train a consultant within 4 – 6 weeks.


Cape Town has a mild Mediterranean climate. The warmer months are from Dec – Mar which is also the windy season. Winter’s are wet and cold. Johannesburg enjoys favourable weather throughout the year. Afternoon thunder showers occur during Summer. Durban has a tropical climate.


The majority of suitable expat housing is located within certain areas and there are many suitable free-standing homes monitored by security companies. Secure estates or “compounds” are also available and these are also monitored by security guards or companies. Most homes have electric fencing.


There are a number of excellent private schools in most South African cities. International Schools offering American, British or IB curriculums are available in Cape Town and Johannesburg.


South Africa has great private medical facilities and hospitals. World class chemists/pharmacies, private doctors and other medical practitioners are all available. Full health insurance, is highly recommended. Check with your local health centre before departure about vaccinations required or recommended. Water in urban areas is safe to drink.


Most businesses and shops are open from 09h00 – 17h00. Some supermarkets have longer hours on week nights. Shops are open on Saturdays until 13h00 while most shopping malls are open longer hours. Alcohol can not be purchased on Sundays.


There are vast differences between the values of the rural and urban dwellers. People from Johannesburg can quite often be regarded as having materialistic values, and being more interested in what you own rather than who you are but they are very friendly to newcomers. People from Cape Town are very proud of their city, and often appear to have a superior attitude about their city versus the rest of the country. Family ties, long-term friendships and social standing are all important to Capetonians.


The unit of currency is the Rand, it is a relatively stable currency. Cash can be changed easily at major banks and foreign exchange (forex) bureaus. US dollars, UK pounds and euros are easy to exchange. All banks have a network of ATMs that accept international credit cards.


South Africans love to entertain guests in their homes and this is usually done in the form of an
informal “braai” or barbecue where food is cooked outdoors over a wood fire. Dinner parties are also a popular way to entertain. If you are invited to a South African’s home a gift of flowers, good quality chocolates, or a bottle of good South African wine is appreciated.


Driving is on the left hand side of the road. Public transport is limited and not recommended. It is common practice for expats to purchase a vehicle for each adult driver in the family and to drive themselves to work and school etc.


When dealing with foreigners, most South Africans  shake hands firmly while maintaining eye contact and smiling. When greeting a black South African the handshake is a bit more intricate than the Western Style handshake and involves a grip of the thumb between 2 handshakes. Some women do not shake hands and merely nod their head, so it is best to wait for a woman to extend her hand. Men may kiss a woman they know well on the cheek in place of a handshake. Greetings are leisurely and include time for social discussion and exchanging pleasantries. Greetings among friends are informal and casual. “Howzit” is a popular form of greeting and replaces “Hello” among friends.


South Africa has a reputation for high levels of crime and it is important to practice vigilance while in the country. Most homes have high walls, security systems and electric fencing. Avoid driving in areas you do not know especially at night and be especially wary when arriving or leaving your premises. Walking at night anywhere is ill-advised, never carry valuables on you and try to avoid looking like a tourist! Avoid leaving anything visible in your vehicle. Keep your credit card within sight at all times to avoid credit card fraud. Report all incidences of crime to a police station within 24 hours.

“Just now” and “now now” are two terms that cause much confusion for foreigners. “Just now” means in a while, probably a few hours time. “Now now” is more immediate and means something will be done in a few minutes.

Our Services for Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, South Africa:

We offer full immigration services in South Africa.

Orientation, Home Search, School Search, Tenancy Management, Spousal Support, Departure Services and Settling in Services.

Housing Surveys, Cost of Living Surveys, Schooling and Vehicle Surveys.

Administration on International Payment and Payroll Services

 For all enquiries e-mail info@relocationafrica.com.

Relocation Africa City Guides are currently available for the following South African cities:

  • Cape Town
  • Pretoria
  • Johannesburg
  • Durban
  • Port Elizabeth and East London 

Please contact us to view a sample or purchase a copy.

Temporary Work permits

An intra-company transfer permit may be issued to a foreigner who is employed abroad by a business operating outside South Africa, which has a subsidiary or affiliated relationship with a company in South Africa and who is required to conduct work in South Africa.

This work permit may be granted for a maximum duration of 24 months and may not be extended.

You may not do any other work apart from what is specified on your permit.

A general work permit may be issued to a foreigner who does not qualify for a quota work permit provided the prospective employer inter alia submits proof that the local labour market was tested and that no suitable qualified or experienced citizen of the country was available for employment in the position offered to the foreign candidate.

Highly skilled foreign nationals may apply for an exceptional skills permit.

An exceptional skills work permit may be issued to foreigner nationals, who excel in their field of specialisation and possess exceptional skills and/or qualifications.

Foreign nationals who fall within the a specific professional category, as reflected on the quota work permit list, may apply for quota works.

Other Temporary Residence permit categories :

A foreigner who intends to retire in South Africa, may apply for a retired persons temporary residence permit, provided that they are able to meet the financial requirements. They must be able to provide evidence that you are financially secure, in the form of a lifelong pension or proof that they receive a lifelong retirement income of at least R20 000,00 per month.

A foreigner who intends studying (from Grade 1 onwards), for a period longer than 3 months, may apply for a study permit.

A foreigner who wishes to visit South Africa for holiday purposes, may obtain a visitors permit for a maximum duration of 90 days.

If they travel on passports which are visa restricted, they would need to apply for the visitors visa, prior to arrival into South Africa.

If they travel on passports which are not visa restricted, they may enter South Africa without a visa and they will be granted a visitors permit for a maximum duration of 90 days at the Port of Entry.

If a foreigner is involved in charitable or voluntary activities, they may apply for a visitors permit for the purpose of conducting voluntary or charitable activities.

Such visitors permits may be granted for a maximum duration of 36 months and may not be extended.

If a foreigner intends establishing or investing in a business in South Africa, they may apply for a business permit. One of the crucial qualifying requirements, is that they must be able to prove that they have at least R2,5 million available to invest in the business, which funds must originate from outside South Africa.

If a foreign is an immediate family member of a South African citizen or permanent resident, they may apply for a relative permit.
The South African relative must be willing and able to support the foreigner financially for the duration of the foreigners stay in South Africa.

The foreigner will not be allowed to conduct work, study or enter into any business activities while on the relative permit.

An immediate family refers to a biological or judicially adopted child, adoptive parent/s and/or spouse.

A relative permit may be issued for a maximum period of 24 months and may be extended.