Usually, immigration involves a temporary stay in rented accommodation on your arrival in the new country. This transition period can be stressful at times, especially if you owned your accommodation in your country of origin. However, finding temporary accommodation in South Africa is exceptionally easy, as the country can offer an extensive range of options, including everything from five-star hotels to caravan parks, and certainly a very wide variety rented flats and houses.
To book such accommodation, it is recommended that you use ImmigrationSouthAfrica.org’s dedicated tour agent:
There are several accommodation directories at your disposal to assist you in your search for accommodation. Immigration South Africa recommends one in particular:
When seeking accommodation in South Africa, it is a useful tactic to contact the manager or owner of an establishment directly. That way, you can obtain first-hand information about the location, and you may also be able to negotiate a better rate.
South Africa does not have many so-called “shopping streets”. The trend in the country is to have a shopping mall, which is a large assortment of shops under one roof. Every major urban centre in South Africa has several shopping malls, with the Gateway Mall in Durban being probably the largest mall in the southern hemisphere. Another prime shopping location is Sandton in Johannesburg, and Cape Town is home to Cavendish Square and Canal Walk. For those who prefer more casual browsing, there are a couple of well-known craft markets, such as the V and A Waterfront Red Craft Shed in Cape Town and the Rosebank Mall Craft Market in Johannesburg. There are also more informal craft markets, such as the one between Johannesburg and Sun City. A variety of traditional African crafts may be found in these markets, such as wood carvings, stone sculptures, and local beadwork. From an investment perspective, precious metals such as gold, and also diamonds, are an option, while local wine of the Western Cape region has an international reputation.
If you make a purchase exceeding ZAR250, you are entitled to claim the VAT (Value Added Tax – the South African equivalent of Government Sales Tax) at the airport when you leave. All that you have to do is to present your passport, flight ticket, the item(s) purchased and the invoice(s) to the refund desk.
Shops tend to open at 09h00, but opening hours vary from place to place. In some of the larger malls, shops may stay open until 21h00.
Generally speaking, the South African economy provides for all needs, allowing for a relatively high standard of living. Given the favourable exchange rate against the USD and GBP, it is obvious that South Africa makes a wise choice in immigration, giving you the opportunity to live well without having to increase your salary or pension.