Living in South Africa

A brief summary of considerations you should make before you make a move to South Africa.

Visa – you will require one so it is essential to contact the SA embassy in your home country prior to departure to establish what type of Permit you will require. These are split into Temporary and Permanent and the Embassy should be able to advise accordingly

Health Insurance – you will need confirmation of cover to be submitted with your visa application. Try to use a reputable International Insurer that will cover you both in SA and your home country too as well as providing Evacuation and Repatriations services if medically necessary

Medical Advice – it is important to see your GP well in advance of your date of travel to ensure you receive the necessary inoculations. Part of your Visa application will contain a section that has to be completed by your GP. A chest X-ray is usually required due to the fact that TB is a growing problem in SA. Malaria has only been reported in more rural areas and SA is not a Yellow Fever area

Passports – make sure that there are a few years before they expire. It is possible to obtain a new passport in SA but you might then have to carry both the old and new ones with you as the Visa will be in the old passport!

Driving – your existing licence should be sufficient but again check that it has several years left to run.

Cars – in order to buy a vehicle you will require a Traffic Register Number which can be obtained from the local licensing department. You will need to take with you passport size photos, passport, drivers licience and a copy of your lease agreement

Schools – these need to be arranged well in advance and most have waiting lists. You can generally choose from International schools or the more reasonably priced local SA schools. Some will ask for copies of previous reports!

Bank Accounts – it is possible to continue to use your home bank account but it is advisable to open a SA bank account as well. A great deal of fraud has been reported with the use of International Credit cards so are not widely accepted.

Telephones – Mobiles are easy to obtain in SA. It is advisable to buy a pre-paid phone to start with. Vodacom, MTN and Cell C are the main providers but there are many more. You could always try acquiring a new Sim Card for your existing mobile phone but this might not work with  iPhone or Blackberry. Landlines can take a while to organise and are not always reliable. Beware of having many telephone engineers visiting your property!

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