Expert Info

Posted by Eli123
on 22 Nov 2018

Hi All,

I would like to know what is the atmosphere like for black expats living in Johannesburg.

Is there any area to avoid? I understand it is not as extreme as it used to be, but I am reading online of places that invite black people to leave, such as restaurants and the alike.

Thanks a lot for your answers!

Meagan on 26 Nov 2018

Hi Eli123,

This is quite a tricky question to answer but I'll do my best!

Apartheid in SA was abolished more than 20 years ago, so while racial tensions do emerge from time to time (as can be expected in such a young democracy), outright and blatant racism is a rarity. As a South African, I often see that the country is misrepresented by overseas media outlets.

I've previously lived in Johannesburg (two years) and nearby Pretoria (four years). While experiences do differ from person to person, I can say that I personally have never witnessed or even heard of a case of someone being turned away from a restaurant due to their race. I can only speak to my own experience but I would be very surprised if you experienced these kinds of issues.

I hope this helps answer your question in some way. I wouldn't say there are any particular areas that should be avoided for fear of being discriminated against, but rather look at it from a safety perspective. The Expat Arrivals page on Areas and Suburbs in Johannesburg might be useful in deciding where to live. The sort of area that will suit you best depends on your lifestyle, budget and workplace but off the top of my head, Sandton and Houghton are quite nice areas. For something in a bit of a lower budget, there are some great places to be found in Randburg, though it's a very large area and there are only certain parts I'd recommend.

Like all countries, South Africa does have its issues but in my admittedly biased opinion it's a lovely place to live. For me and many other people in SA, the diversity of the people that live here is one of the best things about it.

Let me know if you have any more questions. I'll be happy to help where I can.


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