Moving to Cape Town, South Africa: Things to Know

May 03 2018

Before moving to Cape Town, South Africa, there are many things you will need to know. Relocating to South Africa is always a big rollercoaster adventure with some downs but plenty of spectacular ups to outweigh the balance! Of course, in the interest of being honest, we want to give you the good and bad news. Every city has positive and negative points, and Cape Town is no different. As you consider starting your new life in this wonderful place, let us give you some of the top things to know, ‘cons vs. pros’ style:

Lifestyle in Cape Town:

Cons of Cape Town Lifestyle

  • Safety in Cape Town. Unfortunately, Cape Town and many other South African cities have crime rates that are quite high when compared to European cities. Due to Cape Town’s unequal social conditions, the city isn’t always very safe, especially for expats. As long as you are careful and take precautions though, like investing in good security and following safety tips, it’s quite easy to avoid becoming victim to a crime.
  • Public healthcare. Compared to the high quality standards most expats are very used to, the system of public healthcare in Cape Town is not up to scratch! Luckily though, private healthcare is good quality and reasonably priced. Invest in a good health insurance program option and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Pros of Cape Town Lifestyle

  • Weather in Cape Town. Long hot summers and mild winters make the climate in Cape Town perfect for enjoying an outdoor lifestyle that in the UK we can only dream of! Make the most of the weather when you relocate to Cape Town and be sure to fill your time with hikes, going running or surfing, and playing rugby, football, or cricket. The South Africans love their sports!
  • Cost of Living in Cape Town. For one of the world’s major cities, Cape Town has a surprisingly low cost of living! Though it is the capital city of South Africa and the most populous in the country, it is only the third most expensive city. Life here in the ‘Mother City’ is much cheaper than in Johannesburg or Pretoria for example.
  • Leisure Lifestyle. Expats in Cape Town can enjoy a great nightlife scene in the city, whether it’s going to restaurants or to a cocktail bar. Good wine is easily accessible and affordable. There are also many options for those that love to shop, with shopping malls perfect for a bit of retail therapy. And if you’re part of the LGBT+ community there’s also good news, Cape Town is the gay capital of South Africa!

Working & Commuting in Cape Town:

Cons of Working in Cape Town:

  • Lower Salaries than Johannesburg. Though Cape Town is South Africa’s capital, it is Johannesburg that takes the crown for being the economic champion of the country. Though both cities have a lot of jobs on offer, Cape Town salaries are unfortunately lower than those offered in Johannesburg. Of course, once you factor in the lower cost of living in Cape Town, you see that these things are relative, so you could still be in a better-off position in Cape Town.
  • Public transport. Cape Town’s public transport system only really consists of the MyCiTi bus system and not much else. This bus system is limited, so there really aren’t many great options when it comes to getting around without a car. Minibus taxis are a another option but we recommend they are avoided at all costs – minibus taxis in South Africa drive erratically and pose a dangerous problem for city drivers!

Pros of Working in Cape Town:

  • Driving. Though public transport is poor, thankfully Cape Town is quite easy to navigate by car. Of course there is a lot of traffic, as with all major cities, but in general the motorway network in Cape Town is great, making it reasonably quick and easy to get to work if you’re driving your own vehicle.
  • Careers in Creative Industries. If you’re an artist, designer, writer, or any other kind of creative person, you’re in luck! You’ll find lots of like minded people here, as Cape Town is very popular with expats fulfilling creative roles. This has become a heaven of opportunity for creative industry immigrants!

Though there will be ups and downs (like in any great city!), Cape Town is going to be a fantastic new home for you, and moving to South Africa will be the adventure of a lifetime. If you’re looking for international movers to South Africa, you’ve no need to look any further than our team right here at Anglo Pacific. We have decades of experience in helping people move to Cape Town and the rest of South Africa, so get in touch today and see how we can help you!

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