Employment and Wealth
Since the end of apartheid and international sanctions in the mid-90s, South Africa’s economy has boomed with GDP trebling to over $400 billion. Today, there is a well-established middle-class with comfortable, affordable housing and disposable income.
The diverse, broad base of South Africa’s economic foundations is the key to its success with mining, agriculture, manufacturing, communication and tourism all contributing substantially to the financial growth.
While unemployment and poverty remains a problem for a significant portion of South African society, well qualified, experienced expats can often find skilled work with reasonable ease.
South Africa is at the heart of a beautiful, diverse continent with thousands of miles of coastline, mountains, deserts and plains to explore. Neighbouring Botswana is a spectacular country and one of the best places in the world to go on safari, the stunning Duba Plains Camp is just a two hour flight from Johannesburg.
For a heavenly island escape, the idyllic white sandy beaches of Mauritius and the exotic wildlife of Madagascar are all under four hours away. Even the vibrant cities of India and Sri Lanka are under nine hours away.
If you’d prefer a far flung city break, Dubai’s chic Arabian charms and the cosmopolitan melting pot of Sao Paolo are also under nine hours from Johannesburg by plane. Even Australia is within 10 hours travel of South Africa, with regular direct flights to Perth.
Trips home can be quick and painless with direct flights to London taking around 11 hours, and, with just one hour’s time difference to contend with, you won’t have to worry about jet lag.
But how easy is it to move there?
South Africa allows UK citizens a generous 90 days tourist visa to research work and accommodation options. You can then apply for a temporary or permanent residency visa and settle into your new life.
If you’re starting a new job in South Africa or planning on finding one, you’ll need a work permit. If you already have a formal offer of employment, a general work permit will see you through the term of the contract. If you wish to have the option of looking for or moving jobs, you will need to prove your expertise in a particular area and gain an exceptional skills permit which lasts for two years at a time.
You will also need to pass the relevant medical checks and prove you have the cash equivalent of your airfare home. If you are moving to South Africa after retirement, you will need to prove you can support yourself with at least £1,420 a month per person.
Make sure to check out our South African city guides before you move also: