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When we talk about South Africa, we think of the well-known cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg, and also of Nelson Mandela. Elected in 1994, he was South Af-rica’s first black president and is now known all over the world for having fought against apartheid. Since then, blacks and whites have moved towards equality, al-though this young democracy still has some way to go to reduce day-to-day ine-qualities. In this programme, we intend to take a look at the areas in which care needs to be taken when you move to South Africa. First of all, what are the formali-ties? What difficulties do you encounter?

The other, very practical difficulty concerns the visa: it’s extremely difficult to obtain a work visa because South Africa’s positive discrimination policy tends to protect the local labour force. So, to obtain a visa for a foreign worker, you really have to prove that his skills are not available locally. It’s a real obstacle course and extremely difficult for both small and large companies, even the major French groups established in SA have a lot of problems with it. This is why a certain number of French people who move there operate on a per-sonal basis: they recruit a few employees locally, so they have no problems. So, yes, the visa is a difficulty. And it comes on top of what is a rather distinctive atmosphere in which race issues are always present.

Holders of a French passport don’t need a visa for tourist trips to South Africa of less than 90 days. However, beyond 90 days, people are strongly advised to apply to the South African embassy in Paris for the appropriate visa before they leave. And there are many different types of visas: in addition to the business permit for investors, there’s also the study permit and the work permit, which requires a prior job offer. Once you’ve completed this administrative formality, you can look forward to a good quality of life in the country:

Yes, I was saying that SA is a very modern country, so in terms of quality of life, there’s very little difference with France. So, you can forget any ideas to the contrary, it’s a very modern country on a continent with huge potential as the population is set to double by 2050. The market dynamics are there: at present, one in every six people in the world is African; in 2050, one in every four will be African, so you can see that the dynamics really favour the continent and SA seems to me to be the best placed to act as a platform for attacking the African market.

In addition to being a modern, dynamic country offering a combination of sun, mountains and sea, day-to-day living is cheaper than in France. You’ll find restau-rants and hotels two or three times cheaper than France. However, subscription services, such as telephones and security, are more expensive. And security is not to be neglected in your daily life:

And South Africa also has a major ongoing security problem: everything is partitioned and pro-tected, armed groups have to protect every square metre of a province. It’s becoming a very com-plicated country, even though it’s still one of the liveliest economies on the continent.

The key to everything is to stay vigilant. Here are a few recommendations to follow:

If you follow the rules that you’re given at the embassy when you arrive, the people who welcome you will explain what you should do or not do: don’t go out alone in the evening or walk around at certain times in the evening, especially if you’re a woman. When you arrive home, look carefully behind you, close the gate carefully and set the alarm… if you keep to these rules you’ll be fine, it’s when you’re off your guard that problems can occur. It must be said that it’s all rather stressful, there’s no point hiding the fact.

Certain parts of the Hillbrow, Berea, Alexandra and Yeoville districts in Johannesburg require a certain caution, while the old city centre should be avoided at night and at the weekend. In Cape Town, you have to be careful in the Woodstock, Observatory and Bokaap districts. Security is less of a concern if you move to the administrative capital in Pretoria, as the city is fairly peace-ful. So, as long as you follow the basic security rules, and once you’ve dealt with the visa for-malities, you can start to enjoy South Africa’s magnificent scenery.


Video content: When we talk about South Africa, we think of the well-known cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg, and also of Nelson Mandela. Elected in 1994, he was South Af-rica’s first black president and is now known all over the world for having fought against apartheid. Since then, blacks and whites have moved towards equality, al-though this young democracy still has some way to go to reduce day-to-day ine-qualities. In this programme, we intend to take a look at the areas in which care needs to be taken when you move to South Africa. First of all, what are the formali-ties? What difficulties do you encounter?

The other, very practical difficulty concerns the visa: it’s extremely difficult to obtain a work visa because South Africa’s positive discrimination policy tends to protect the local labour force. So, to obtain a visa for a foreign worker, you really have to prove that his skills are not available locally. It’s a real obstacle course and extremely difficult for both small and large companies, even the major French groups established in SA have a lot of problems with it. This is why a certain number of French people who move there operate on a per-sonal basis: they recruit a few employees locally, so they have no problems. So, yes, the visa is a difficulty. And it comes on top of what is a rather distinctive atmosphere in which race issues are always present.

Holders of a French passport don’t need a visa for tourist trips to South Africa of less than 90 days. However, beyond 90 days, people are strongly advised to apply to the South African embassy in Paris for the appropriate visa before they leave. And there are many different types of visas: in addition to the business permit for investors, there’s also the study permit and the work permit, which requires a prior job offer. Once you’ve completed this administrative formality, you can look forward to a good quality of life in the country:

Yes, I was saying that SA is a very modern country, so in terms of quality of life, there’s very little difference with France. So, you can forget any ideas to the contrary, it’s a very modern country on a continent with huge potential as the population is set to double by 2050. The market dynamics are there: at present, one in every six people in the world is African; in 2050, one in every four will be African, so you can see that the dynamics really favour the continent and SA seems to me to be the best placed to act as a platform for attacking the African market.

In addition to being a modern, dynamic country offering a combination of sun, mountains and sea, day-to-day living is cheaper than in France. You’ll find restau-rants and hotels two or three times cheaper than France. However, subscription services, such as telephones and security, are more expensive. And security is not to be neglected in your daily life:

And South Africa also has a major ongoing security problem: everything is partitioned and pro-tected, armed groups have to protect every square metre of a province. It’s becoming a very com-plicated country, even though it’s still one of the liveliest economies on the continent.

The key to everything is to stay vigilant. Here are a few recommendations to follow:

If you follow the rules that you’re given at the embassy when you arrive, the people who welcome you will explain what you should do or not do: don’t go out alone in the evening or walk around at certain times in the evening, especially if you’re a woman. When you arrive home, look carefully behind you, close the gate carefully and set the alarm… if you keep to these rules you’ll be fine, it’s when you’re off your guard that problems can occur. It must be said that it’s all rather stressful, there’s no point hiding the fact.

Certain parts of the Hillbrow, Berea, Alexandra and Yeoville districts in Johannesburg require a certain caution, while the old city centre should be avoided at night and at the weekend. In Cape Town, you have to be careful in the Woodstock, Observatory and Bokaap districts. Security is less of a concern if you move to the administrative capital in Pretoria, as the city is fairly peace-ful. So, as long as you follow the basic security rules, and once you’ve dealt with the visa for-malities, you can start to enjoy South Africa’s magnificent scenery.

Linked key words: life, South Africa

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