If you are planning to move to South Africa, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of living in South Africa. South Africa is an emerging country that still struggles with the problems of poverty and social inequality associated with the recent end of apartheid. Foreigners can find highly specialized jobs for which there are not enough local workers. For unskilled jobs, however, there is virtually no chance.
A foreigner has three opportunities to work in South Africa:
- Find a highly specialized job
- Work as a native speaker in a call center
- Open your own business
There are no alternatives because access to low-skilled jobs is not possible, and even if it were, I doubt anyone would move to South Africa to work for $200 a month.
The wage gap is very large. Wages for unskilled jobs are very low ($200-300 per month) due to the abundance of unskilled labor. On the other hand, salaries for highly specialized professionals are very high due to the shortage of highly skilled labor in the country. Remember that there are no social systems in South Africa, no subsidies or grants of any kind.
People are generally very cheerful and friendly, so it is very easy to make new friends. People are polite, respectful and smiling. South Africans tend to be relaxed and easy-going. Socializing and integrating is very easy, making deep friendships is a bit more difficult.
When it comes to South Africa, the first thing that rings alarm bells is security. The high crime rate is largely the result of existing social inequalities. The country is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. It is true that murders and serious crimes are a limited phenomenon among the many gangs in the region, but one must always be aware of petty crimes (theft, robbery, etc.). Therefore, it is necessary to always be vigilant, even in central areas, avoid walking alone, especially at night, do not leave objects in sight in the car, do not wear jewelry or valuables and do not trust strangers or beggars who try to start a conversation.
Until a few years ago, living in South Africa was really cheap. Now it’s getting pretty expensive, although it’s still cheaper than in Europe or USA. The biggest costs are in housing (especially in the big cities), imported goods, health care and education.
Public transportation is available only in the central areas of the major cities; otherwise, people must rely on their own transportation. Public education is of poor quality, so people have to go to private schools).The public health care system in South Africa does not meet European standards, so it is essential to use good private health care. It is necessary to take out health insurance the prices of which start at about $250 per month.
The landscapes of South Africa are fantastic. The country offers a great variety of natural environments: forests, rivers, lagoons, mountains, beaches, deserts, etc. The food is very good, the meat is excellent, as well as the sea products. The climate in South Africa is generally wonderful, with long, hot summers and mild winters.
Living and working in South Africa – pros and cons
Living in South Africa, pros
- Good business opportunities
- Good opportunities for professionals
- Easy integration
- Exceptional and unique landscapes
- Relaxed life
- Low cost of living
- Nice weather
Living in South Africa, cons
- High crime rate
- Inadequate public transportation
- Expensive services (Health and education)
- Lack of a social system
Living and working in South Africa, conclusion
South Africa is a true melting pot of people and races from all over the continent and the world. In addition to its extremely outgoing inhabitants, this country also has excellent cuisine, fantastic weather and spectacular nature. An experience in this country will enrich you as a person, especially if you have the spirit of an explorer.
South Africa has problems, first of all crime, but you have nothing to fear if you behave intelligently and take the necessary precautions.
If you are interested in moving to South Africa read the article: Moving to South Africa
If you are interested in working in South Africa, read the article: Work in South Africa