Yes! If you’re looking for a lifestyle change and your occupation gels with working away, the Western Cape is the ideal location to establish your remote office at the southernmost tip of Africa

A break from work could see you sipping the roast of the day at a local café or exercising in the mountains or sea before your next Zoom. The lifestyle balances work and play flawlessly, and you’ll quickly fit in and fall in love with the culture and country. But don’t take our word for it. There are more than enough resources for you to understand why Cape Town is a firm favourite. Need more convincing from people on the ground and in the know? Get in touch with us.

Cape Town Accolades:

These are just a few of the honours piling up in the Mother City’s trophy cabinet:

2021: Top City in Africa and the Middle East – Travel & Leisure

2018: Greatest City in the World – Telegraph Travel Readers Award

Top 10 Surf Cities in the World – Surfer Magazine

World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination – World Travel Awards

2017: Fodor’s Go List 2017

#2 – Best in Travel 2017 – Lonely Planet

Western Cape voted Golf Destination of the Year, 2017 – Africa and Gulf States International Association of Golf Tour Operators.

2016: 2016 Best Overseas City for Restaurants & Bars – Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice Awards

Number One Food City in the World – Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice Awards

Luxury City Destination of the Year – Travel Guide Africa & Middle East Awards 2016.

Yes. South Africa is OPEN for international travellers. All overseas arrivals must carry a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test, recognised by the World Health Organisation, acquired no more than 72 hours before the date of travel.

Yes, you can! New research by global housing rental platform, Nestpick recognises Cape Town as one of the best cities in the world for remote workers. The Mother City ranks at 16 out of 75 cities globally scoring higher than New York, Athens and Barcelona. The index score is based on a range of liveability factors including cost of living, infrastructure and leisure activities. Cape Town scored well for its low cost of living, pleasant weather, and the rights afforded to its citizens.

Infrastructure, facilities and connectivity are on par with what you’d find in any developed city. Mobile phone coverage extends to most of the country except the very remote areas.

Visiting South Africa as a tourist and conducting freelance, contract or remote work  for your foreign based clients or employers (on a visitor/tourist visa) is allowed for up to 90 or 30 days (depending on your nationality) with the possibility of a tourist visa renewal for additional 90 days. 

A freelancer, contractor or remote worker on a visitor visa is bound by a few conditions including:

  • Proof of funds to support stays of up to 90 days.
  • Possession of a return/onward airline ticket.
  • Proof of guardianship or custody if travelling with children.
  • Not entering the employ of a South African company.

The Western Cape Government, a separate entity to National Government, is calling for a targeted visa for remote workers. Currently, National Government is receiving proposals to establish a remote work visa for international visitors that will allow the holder to remain longer than 90 days.

Workers of foreign origin who want to stay and work for periods exceeding 90 days should consider work permits or business visas for South Africa. The Department of Home Affairs issues several work permits/visas; the eligibility requirements are not the same as a visitor/tourist visa.

South Africa’s Revenue Service (SARS) operates a “residence-based tax system” meaning a visitor’s tax commitments depend on the number of days of the physical presence/residence in South Africa and NOT solely on the  visa they hold.

Remote workers on a visitor/tourist visa are exempt from paying tax in South Africa. This is because the short-term allowance of the visa (stays of up to 90 days) do not permit the holder to participate in South Africa’s economy in terms of seeking employment and claiming social benefits, as well as it does not exhausts the prescribed duration of physical residence in South Africa to consider an individual as a Tax Resident in South Africa.

Work permit/business visa holders are usually classified as “tax residents” and will usually incur tax if they stay longer than 91 days in a tax year.

If your residence in South Africa is expected to be longer than 90 days, we strongly advise to contact a South African Tax Advisor, specialising in South African taxation system.

Roughly 7% of South Africa’s 60 million population are expats, the majority from neighbouring countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the UK and Europe. Research by HSBC in 2019 measured expat experience in South Africa finding:

  • 62% said their quality of life improved since moving to South Africa.
  • Since relocating, 55% plan to stay for more than twenty years.
  • Reasons for an extended stay include quality of life (51%), the climate (36%), starting a relationship (30%) and not wanting to leave friends and family made in SA (27%).

Yes. Cape Town and South Africa is safe to visit. 

  • Terrorism has not been a threat to national security since the end of apartheid (1994).
  • Natural disasters pose a low risk. The UN’s World Risk Index classifies South Africa as having a ‘low chance of disasters’ caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, storms, floods, droughts and rising sea level.
  • South Africans enjoy one of the cleanest water supplies in the world. Approximately 90% of households have access to safe drinking water that meets World Health Organisation standards.

Crime is prevalent but should not discourage you from visiting. Offences are characterised by theft and car break-ins on the lower end and bribery and corruption on the higher end. Violent crimes that result in bodily harm or fatality are usually transgressed by a person the victim knows. The sad reality is that criminal activities, especially those involving injury or death, are typically concentrated in low-income areas. 

Practice the same level of caution and reason you’d apply in any foreign environment – avoid walking alone at night, lock doors, don’t leave valuables unattended (e.g. in the car, on the beach) and be aware of your surroundings on the street and when hiking.

Cape Town is remarkably affordable even if you arrive with a small amount of foreign currency savings. Even though living costs are cheaper than most international destinations, Cape Town still delivers a high standard of living.

South Africa’s currency (the Rand or ZAR) favours most overseas visitors including those from the U.S.A., Europe, UK and Australia. In the latest Big Mac Index, the Rand continues to be one of the most undervalued currencies globally, relative to the US Dollar.

Here’s a brief Rand/foreign currency comparison of what you can expect to pay for select consumables:

Rand Value Est. US$ Value Est. € Value Est. £ Value
Cart of supermarket essentials R2500 US$165 €145 £122
Cup of coffee R26 US$1.75  €1.50 £1.30
Pint of lager R40 US$2.70  €2.30 £1.95
Fine dining dinner (3 courses) R600 US$40 €34.10 £30
1 litre (1/4 gallon) of gas R15 US$1 €0.90 £0.77
Gym membership (1 month) R675 US$48 €40.50 £34.55

Cape Town is the cosmopolitan home to expats from around the world. While exclusive ‘expat communities’ don’t exist, a higher number of visiting residents reside in and around the peninsula’s acclaimed parts including the City Bowl, Atlantic Seaboard and Southern Peninsula.

Expats usually choose an area that supports their lifestyle; for example, if you love kitesurfing and the beach, you might choose to settle around Bloubergstrand. Night owls will likely choose the CBD and immediate surrounds for easy access to nightlife. A German family might prefer living close to the German International School in Tamboerskloof.

If circumstances allow it, integrate with different communities by splitting your stay across more than one neighbourhood – short-term leases make this feasible. Between the colourful homes in the Bo Kaap, sweeping gardens of Constantia, upmarket apartments in Sea Point and Victorian houses in Woodstock, there are infinite possibilities to suit every pocket and preference.

Accommodation in Cape Town covers a broad spectrum—from basic backpackers to luxury villas, trendy boutique hotels and everything in between.

The table below is a bird’s-eye-view of Cape Town housing and prices in 2021. Rental prices vary with the city centre and its immediate surrounds being the most expensive areas to stay. Let DAY1 assist with house hunting. Our experts can help you find a happy home to suit your budget and needs.

Average Price Est. US$ Equivalent
3-star hotel R1000 p/n $70 p/n
1-bedroom apartment (short lease) R500 p/n $35 p/n
2-bedroom apartment (short lease) R700 – R1000 p/n $50 – $70 p/n
1 bedroom apartment (long lease) R10 000 – R13 000 p/m $690 – $900 p/m
2-bedroom apartment (long lease) R13 000 – R20 000 p/m $900 – $1375 p/m
2-bedroom house (long lease) R14 000 – R25 000 p/m $965 – $1720 p/m
4-bedroom house (long lease) R20 000 – R30 000 p/m $1720 – $2065 p/m

Most middle to high-income suburbs in Cape Town are safe; however, petty crime is a reality no matter where you choose to live. Nearly all incidents are opportunistic. Reduce vulnerabilities by not storing valuables in your vehicle, securing doors and access points and denying unsolicited doorbell ringers. Information is power so get to know your neighbours and join a WhatsApp group to receive alerts about incidents in your area.

South Africans are fastidious about home security so private and rented properties usually feature controlled access, an alarm system linked to a 24-hour armed response service, burglar bars on windows and doors, and high walls.