Why South Africa? South Africa's economy is recovering, although some see the upcoming elections in 2019 as a damper with an air of uncertainty even though no major political changes are expected. President Ramaphosa recently highlighted the positive investment growth rate due to the government's inclusive development strategies.
The Rand had a flying start at the start of 2019, a lower inflation rate and the lower fuel prices encourage a positive outlook. The interest rate is expected to stay at 6.5% (base rate) and the prime lending rate at 10% until late 2019. Further electricity tariff hikes are expected though.
The inflation rate stands lower at 4.5% in December 2018 and thus in the target range of 3 - 6%, however, the GDP has dropped to a 2.2% (quarter-on-quarter in Q3/2018). The unemployment stands at a high 27.5%.
Many tourists and foreigners are less than impressed with the constant news about corruption and the country's high crime rate. The immigration regulations still hinder immigration efforts of highly skilled workers and further expansion of the tourism sector. The ongoing service delivery protests in many areas deter many investors.
The still favourable exchange rate is seen a big plus by those earning in dollars, pound or euros. Otherwise investment seems to continue to struggle as the business confidence still is very low. Read more here.
This all does not make for much overly positive news, but there is light at the horizon! Let us show you why we think the country at the tip of the African continent is still one of the favourite destinations worldwide for tourists, visitors and business travellers and why expats still should consider South Africa a great destination for working and living in this beautiful country.
Foreigners from all over the world live and work in South Africa and most of them feel very happy to raise their kids here as various expat surveys show. Tourists and travellers love the fabulous lifestyle South Africa offers. South Africa is renowned for the sunny blue skies, a stunning landscape providing rich scenery and endless views, acclaimed cuisine and of course, for its friendly people.
And expats in South Africa enjoy this every day! Reading through the various international travel forums, it becomes clear that many international visitors praise this country not only for its scenic beauty but for its warm and welcoming people and many South African expats living abroad seem to get soon homesick and wonder why they ever left as the grass often is not greener 'on the other side'.
We have gone through the newest accolades and expat ratings and will show you here what makes living in South Africa so enjoyable:
South Africa is rated among the more popular countries for expat experience for families (29th out of 31 in the HSBC expatexplorer survey 2018) and ranks especially positive for:
Source: HSBC Expat Explorer, 2018
(Ranking of 31 expat destinations worldwide)
Why South Africa and what makes South Africa one of the favourite destinations for travellers and visitors? Read here some awesome accolades and awards which South Africa and its major cities received have received recently.
Johannesburg... - why South Africa?
I live with my family in South Africa now for over a decade, we have seen lots of changes, and also lots of improvements. The road infrastructure is improving with the implementation of public transport facilities and opportunities for sustainable energy sources are being more intensely sourced and also implemented at a faster pace than previously. The South African people are now more aware of xenophobic tendencies and racism and discuss this topic more openly than ever before. The communities grow stronger with many local private initiatives helping to grow the educational standards and improving living conditions for the disadvantage communities through a variety of measures. And for us, living in South Africa is as good as it gets. We miss our families overseas but we love living in South Africa. Our 'expat' children are raised very differently to what they would experience in daily routines in our home country. I think to live in a foreign country and being confronted with a diverse environment, diverse cultures and diverse options, benefits all of us. We all learn from each other when we live, work and play together. So embrace life and make the most of your stay in wonderful South Africa!
'Why South Africa' Article by Regina Graeff, owner of ExpatCapeTown.com and co-author of the 'Living in South Africa' expat guide book. Available at major bookstores and online at Takealot.com and Amazon.com. Join us on Facebook 'LivinginSouthAfrica' or on Twitter @expatlivinginsa
Image Credits for Why South Africa: shutterstock.com, SA Tourism, own images/canva design for why south africa blog image
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