South Africa is a cosmopolitan country with a population of about 57 million. Many expatriate communities (Belgians, French, Germans, Dutch, African refugees from other countries on the continent etc.) reside there. We have gathered some tips to prepare your expatriation in South Africa and to understand your future daily life on the spot. Apart from the vigilance of the security, South Africa is a welcoming country rich in opportunities. However, medical infrastructure is not always sufficiently developed, and the costs of private medicine in international institutions can be very expensive. This is why it is strongly advised to take out international health insurance for expatriates before you leave, in order to prevent risks.
Working in South Africa
It is difficult to find a job in South Africa for an expatriate, as priority is given to South Africans. To find a job in South Africa, it is important to have advanced skills and to speak fluent English.
We advise you to apply for jobs that are on the critical skills list, including computer science, engineering, and information technology.
Schooling in South Africa
South Africa’s education system is divided into three parts: General Education and Training, Further Education and Training, and Tertiary and Higher Education. The first ten years are mandatory.
The “matric year” is the year in which students prepare the equivalent of the French baccalaureate and their entry to university.
There are two French schools in South Africa: the French School François le Vaillant du Cap, and the French Lycée Jules Verne in Johannesburg.
Staying in South Africa
The price of housing depends as in many countries of the city where you will live with the medal of the highest prices for the most pleasant city of South Africa: Cape Town. The rent for a three-bedroom apartment in downtown Cape Town costs about 1,400 euros per month. Count 600 euros for the same type of property in Pretoria.
It is advisable to use a short-term rental as a first step while you take your marks and choose the accommodation that suits you best.
What is the cost of living in South Africa?
South Africa is one of the countries with a fairly low cost of living in the world. The latter is 56 lower than in France. However, imported products such as cars and electronics are more expensive than in Europe.
To reduce your expenses in South Africa, it is advisable to take out international health insurance to be covered and not have to pay large health costs in case of problems.
Driving in South Africa
The first specificity to remember when it comes to driving in South Africa is that driving is on the left side. It is therefore necessary to remain vigilant so as not to have any nasty surprises. South African roads are generally well maintained, so it is quite easy to travel from one city to another in the country. But traffic is sometimes heavy in and around major cities.
Checks are not frequent, but penalties are rather heavy. Speed is limited to 60km/h in the city, 100km/h on non-urban routes and 120km/h on motorways. If you wish to move to South Africa, you can drive with your French driver’s license, provided it is fully translated into English. This translation must be done by a sworn translator and validated by the French Consulate General in Cape Town.
Hygiene and eating habits in South Africa
Good hygiene in restaurants, markets and shops. Tap water is safe to drink. You can also consume bottled water, local brand: Schoon Spruit, Van Riebeeck Water. South Africa has inherited a number of Anglo-Saxon habits. Breakfast is full of eggs and bacon, lunch is light, and dinner is served around 6 p.m.
South African cuisine is inspired by Dutch, English and Oriental recipes. It contains mainly meat, corn puree with tomato sauce, some vegetables and chutney.
Choosing health insurance for South Africa
Buying international health insurance is a major formality, and even more so in South Africa. On the one hand because the South African state requires it, on the other hand to ensure that your expatriation takes place in the best conditions and that all your medical expenses are covered by good health insurance. For expatriates, there are two categories of health insurance: insurance called 1st euroand insurance in addition to the Caisse des Français abroad (CFE). Depending on your profile and criteria, we will be able to present different formulas tailored to your needs. So don’t hesitate to contact us and ask us for advice, we’ll be happy to respond! Moreover, if you wish, you can get an immediate free quote online.