Moving somewhere new can be somewhat daunting, and Johannesburg is no exception. To help put expats' minds at rest, here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Johannesburg.
How safe is Johannesburg?
Though the city's crime rate is relatively high, serious crimes are largely limited to impoverished locations. However, theft is a common concern. Expat residents can maximise their safety by taking basic precautions. This includes simple actions such as contracting home security, not travelling in strange areas at night, and keeping the windows up and the doors locked when driving.
What is the cost of living in Johannesburg?
Expats often find that the cost of living in Johannesburg is low. Accommodation is still relatively cheap despite a property boom in recent years. Dining out, entertainment, groceries and clothing also provide good value for money. Cleaning staff and childminders can also be hired at a low price.
Do I need to learn a language before moving to Johannesburg?
No, almost everyone speaks English, which is used as the common language of business and government.
Are the locals friendly to expats?
Yes, South Africans are renowned for being hospitable and it won't be long before a new arrival gets invited over for a beer and a braai, a beloved South African pastime.
Are weekend getaways from Johannesburg possible?
Yes. The tranquil Magaliesburg is about an hour away, trout-fishing centre Dullstroom is three hours away, the Kruger National Park is five hours from the city, and the Drakensberg Mountains are also a few hours away. Even the seaside resorts of Durban are less than a seven-hour drive, or just an hour by plane.
►For more on living in the country, see Moving to South Africa
Are you an expat living in Johannesburg?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Johannesburg. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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