John Mason +44 (0)151 449 3938 International House 35 Wilson Road Huyton Business Park $$$

About South Africa

South Africa is a true melting pot of African and European cultures.

Get in touch...

Home » Moving Guide » Destination Guides » About South Africa

South Africa

The country has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu, only India and Bolivia are more multilingual. In the last twenty years, as democracy and stability have been established in South Africa, a new generation of expats have upped sticks to discover the country’s vibrant culture and growing economy.This includes a substantial British expat community of around 200,000 living in South Africa, almost the same as the number in New Zealand. The country is even one of the top ten destinations for British retirees, so why are so many expats moving to South Africa?

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.

Travel Prospects

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.

City Guides

Make sure to check out our South African city guides before you move also:

Moving to Durban

Moving to Cape Town

Our Accreditations

As one of the leading providers of overseas removals services on a national and international scale, we pride ourselves on providing a professional and friendly service from our highly trained and competent team. We have been recognised as one of the leading international moving companies by the networks below and we are, therefore, proud of our credentials and the quality standard they represent. In 2023 we became the most trusted moving company in the UK.
Australia

Population explosion down under -with 650,000 immigrants expected in next two years

15 May 2023

International Removals

British Association of Removers: May 2023 Update – Global Shipping Conditions

2 May 2023

International Removals

Twelve reasons why John Mason International is the UK’s most trusted international removals company

18 April 2023

News

Embark on a new adventure with Aardman’s Morph and John Mason International Movers

11 April 2023

International Removals

British Association of Removers Global Shipping Industry Update – April 2023

3 April 2023

Company News

John Mason International launch Whizz-Kidz charity partnership to help young people keep moving

30 March 2023

Some of our Customer Reviews

The packers were careful, quick and courteous. I highly recommend this company and would definitely use them again! Efficient, polite, punctual: could not ask for more.

Hertfordshire, UK to Virginia, USA - March 2023

From start with Michelle to finish with Gill the level of service was excellent. John Mason and its international partners handled my move from Devon to Australia seemingly effortlessly. I couldn't ask for better.

Devon, UK to Perth, Australia –April 2023

Absolutely one of the best movers I have worked with. Pleasant helpful admin staff and the delivery drivers were absolute angels sorting and moving the boxes where I asked them to. Arrived exactly when they said it would.

Yorkshire, UK to Sydney, Australia - March 2023

Read more independent reviews about us on TrustPilot