Pros and cons of moving to Cape Town

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Living in Cape Town has many advantagesEvery city has its good and bad aspects, but Cape Town undoubtedly has more going for it than most. The city is known for its good weather, natural beauty and the lifestyle its residents enjoy.

The local government is arguably the most efficient in South Africa which is reflected in Cape Town's excellent public infrastructure and best exemplified in the introduction of the MyCiTi Integrated Rapid Transport (IRT) bus system which comprehensively serves the city and is expected to continue expanding to outlying areas. Expat parents will be pleased to know that it has good schools and their children will enjoy the host of outdoor activities. 

That said, while it is better off than many other cities, crime remains a problem in South Africa and Cape Town is not an exception. Real estate prices are notoriously high in certain parts of the city and go up in relation to how close the property is to the mountain or the sea. Minibus taxis seem to be a uniquely South African problem and their erratic driving is a constant hindrance to many of the city's drivers.

Here is a brief look at the pros and cons of living in Cape Town:


  • Home and work can be in close proximity, which reduces commuting time
  • Great weather: long summers, mild winters, lots of sunshine
  • Relaxed and balanced lifestyle
  • Excellent infrastructure, from roads to banks and telecommunications
  • The introduction of  MyCity IRT has greatly improved public transport
  • The city has less crime than other South African cities
  • Business friendly and plenty of opportunities for qualified expats
  • There is a large expat community
  • An abundance of natural beauty
  • Beach and mountain five minutes away
  • Good, affordable wine
  • Friendly and welcoming locals
  • Similar time-zone to much of Europe
  • Excellent private healthcare
  • Good government schools
  • Excellent private schools
  • Great nightlife and gay scene
  • Domestic help is very affordable


  • The city has a high crime rate relative to many European cities
  • Windy summers
  • The sea is cold all year-round
  • Affirmative action policies can limit employment opportunities for some expats
  • Cumbersome bureaucracy
  • Inefficient government departments
  • Public transport is limited to MyCity buses
  • Parking can be limited and roads are narrow in certain parts of the city
  • Minibus taxis drive erratically
  • Salaries are lower than in Johannesburg
  • Property prices are high

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