Things to Keep in Mind when You Move to South Africa

move to south africaNo two countries in this world are the same. Every country has its own rules, customs and systems. South Africa naturally has a few too. While some unique South African traits will not have a massive impact on your life, others could make your move to South Africa a drama you’d rather forget.

In our opinion, South African regulations around property, health insurance and foreign exchange are top of the drama list. These are the three areas our clients struggle with most if they attempt to navigate their relocation process themselves.

Buying property in South Africa

South Africa has a ‘seller’s market’ when it comes to property – the buying process works in favour of the seller. There is very little protecting the interests of the buyer.

Take the ‘Offer to Purchase’ for instance. This is the document the buyer uses to make an offer on a house. This is a legally binding document. If the seller accepts the offer, the buyer has bought the property for all intents and purposes. There is no cooling off period!

The appointment of an attorney is another South African anomaly. This person is not an impartial third party – the attorney is chosen by the seller.

Intergate does our bit to help protect our clients by referring them to SAHomeByers. SAHomeBuyers is an independent buyers’ consultancy. What’s more, it is the only one of its kind in South Africa.

SAHomeBuyers will scrutinise the Offer to Purchase to ensure that you are getting a fair deal. Their service starts long before this though. The SAHomeBuyers agent will:

  • Consult with you to determine your needs.
  • Do a property search and arrange viewings.
  • Accompany you on viewings and introduce you to the area.
  • Negotiate the selling price on your behalf.

They’ll be available after you’ve signed too, to make sure that you are indeed happy with your purchase. Having SAHomeBuyers by your side during your move to South Africa is the best thing you can do if you’re planning on buying a house here!

Medical insurance in South Africa

Unlike some countries, South Africa does not have a national health insurance system in place. What it does have is private and public healthcare. Private healthcare is accessed through medical aid and comes at a higher price than its public counterpart.

Despite the price, it is best to have medical aid in place. Especially if you have a family, as hospital treatment is expensive. Not having medical aid could result in a substantial bill for your own pocket. It could even mean that you cannot access necessary treatment.

Deciding that you need medical aid is the easy part. Choosing a provider is much harder. There are hundreds of medical aid providers in South Africa!

The best thing to do is appoint a medical broker to help you pick a medical aid. Be aware that medical brokers in South Africa should be registered and independent. This enables them to give you good advice.

South African foreign exchange

Foreign exchange in South Africa is governed by foreign exchange control regulations. These regulations control the flow of money in and out of South Africa. They also place certain restrictions on what can and cannot be transferred.

If you are in violation of any forex regulations, it could mean that you are unable to recover funds at some stage. To prevent this putting a dark cloud over your move to South Africa, we suggest you talk to Incompass. They will be able assist you with foreign exchange as well as banking.

Need more help with your move to South Africa?

For help with any other part of your move to South Africa, feel free to contact us. Our consultants have helped thousands of individuals and families immigrate to South Africa.

You can speak to a consultant in Cape Town by calling +27 (0) 21 424 2460. Of course our Johannesburg consultants can help too. They are available on +(27) 11 234 4275.

Alternatively, request a call back for a consultant to contact you instead. This call will cost you nothing and is obligation free.