Frequently Asked Questions about South Africa
What is the speed and cost of Internet access in South Africa?
South Africa lags behind the US and Europe in terms of fast, affordable Internet access. Broadband is a recent phenomenon and is comparatively expensive. Expect to pay from 300 ZAR per month for two GB of data at 512 Mbps, although this includes phone line rental. Additional Gigs of data cost around 80 ZAR.
- Main telecomms provider: www.telkom.co.za
- Reliable Internet provider: www.mweb.co.za
- Wireless Internet access: www.iburst.co.za
What sort of goods can't be bought in South Africa?
Just about every home comfort or local speciality – from Chinese ginseng root and French truffles to German newspapers and Cuban cigars – can be found here if you look hard enough, especially in the cities. However, with high import duties and limited demand, prices for these items will be high.
How do I go about buying a car in South Africa, and what should I expect to pay?
Buying a car is a straightforward process in South Africa provided you buy from a reputed dealer, who will arrange for the compulsory roadworthy test and registration. Required documents include a current driving licence, proof of address in South Africa and passport. Cars are relatively expensive in South Africa, however some Toyota, Volkswagen and BMW vehicles are manufactured in the country and are therefore better value and are cheaper to maintain. For comparison a Toyota Corolla costs from 150,000 ZAR, a BMW 3-series from 230,000 ZAR and a seven-seater Renault MPV from 300,000 ZAR.
Cars for sale:
How much will affirmative action affect me?
It depends on whether you are seeking a job or moving to take up a job. Companies with over 50 employees are penalised if they do not hire a certain proportion of previously disadvantaged staff. This can limit white job seekers, but should not impact expats with essential skills as they are exempt from such regulations.
Is it worth learning an African language?
You don't need to learn Afrikaans, Xhosa or Zulu to get by. However by making the effort to do so you will deepen your experience of the country given that 70 percent of the population speak one of these three languages as a mother tongue.
Is it affordable and easy to hire domestic staff?
Many expats find the affordability of domestic staff and nannies to be a big advantage of living in South Africa. There are numerous agencies to assist with screening and recruiting. Expect to pay in the region of 3,000 ZAR per month for a full time domestic helper and around 4,000 ZAR for a trained nanny.
If I am paying tax in my home country am I being taxed twice?
No. South Africa has income tax treaties that exempt you from statutory tax rates for certain types of income. You may also be able to claim foreign tax credits when you submit your home country tax return if you have already paid tax in South Africa.
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