Cape Town &
The Western Cape


Cape Town is one of South Africa’s principal metropolitan areas, the capital city of the Western Cape Province and legislative capital. Above all, it is certifiably one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Western Cape, one of nine provinces in South Africa, encompasses a broader area roughly the same size as the UK with a richness of cities, towns and small towns (or ‘dorps’) punctuated by wine regions, beauty spots and scenic routes.

Often referred to as the “Mother City”, Cape Town has captivated an audience from around the world; many who visit end up staying longer than intended to enjoy the exceptional outdoor lifestyle, natural beauty, infrastructure and economic energy of the destination.

Cape Town, with iconic Table Mountain as its cornerstone, is celebrated around the world and numerous awards reflect it’s standing as a global city like no other.

“The city and CBD are geared to accommodate an emerging digitally savvy population that requires good broadband connectivity, co-working spaces, accessibility and quality of lifestyle. The City Centre has all of these, and as a recognised digital city, the Cape Town CBD is well placed to support this vibrant new way of working.”

  – CCID Chairperson, Rob Kane

Vitals

Cape Town metro population: est. 14,709,990

Time zone: GMT +2

Area code: 021

Main languages: English / Afrikaans / Xhosa

Plugs & voltage: South Africa uses four plug types – types C, D, M and N. Plug type C has two round pins, type D has three round pins in a triangular configuration and types M and N both have three round pins.

South Africa operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.


Driving

South Africa’s road network is high-quality, accessible and well-connected with the Western Cape being no exception. Provinces are linked by National (N) routes (interprovincial), intra-provincial by Regional (R) routes and Metropolitan (M) routes link areas within cities. Roads are well-signposted and a valid driver’s license from your country of origin is acceptable – you must be at least 18 years old to drive and rent a car in South Africa.

South Africa’s ‘Golden Rule of the Road’:    
Keep left. Give way to your right.

Transmission:   
Most cars offer stick shift (manual) or automatic gear systems. Steering is right-hand drive.

South Africa uses the metric system, so speed and distance are measured in kilometres (km). The average speed limit on highways is 80 – 120 km/h and 40 – 60km/h in residential areas.

What you know as a “traffic light” is called a “robot” in South Africa. Different name. Same green, amber and red signal.

In towns and cities, you will encounter “car guards” – in most cases, they are informally self-employed and help drivers find parking, keep an eye on vehicles and wash cars. Tipping car guards is at your discretion.


Tipping

In South Africa, leaving a tip for waiters, drivers, guides and other service providers is at your discretion and always appreciated. Tipping takes place on completion of a service (e.g. when paying the bill at a restaurant) and upwards of 10% of the value of your meal, taxi journey etc can be added to the total amount. When the service has been exceptional, the tip should reflect your gratitude. Bear in mind that many service personnel draw the majority of their shift earnings from customers’ tips.


Schools

Cape Town is so well setup for youngsters that bringing your children with on your workaway is a no-brainer. Not only is there immense fun to be had, but the school system is also diverse and includes public schools (government run), private schools (independent) and international schools. South Africa’s school year runs from mid-January to early December and is split into four terms. Generally, school holidays are in April, June/July, September and December.

 

Ask DAY1 about schools. We can help you find the best Cape Town schools for children of all ages.


Culture

Capetonians are a colourful, sociable group of people, and the culture is made up of diverse ethnicities, religions, traditions and cuisine. People are peaceful and the call to prayer can be heard from trendy bars and restaurants. For those in earshot, the day is punctuated by the firing of the Noon Gun every day at 12pm. The best way to understand the culture is by meeting locals, learning a few phrases, tasting the food and sharing in everyday life.

South Africa is one of few countries in the world to actively support LGBTQ+ lifestyles through progressive legislation. Same-sex marriage has been legal since the Civil Union Act was passed on 30 November 2006 and members of the LGBTQ+ community have long felt at home in the Mother City.

Visas

While there is currently no visa accommodating remote workers/freelancers, authorities recognise that nomadic professionals typically stay longer than 90 days in a destination. As such, submissions are being made to National Government to make provisions in the Immigration Act to allow for a Remote Working Visa for a period longer than three months. The aim is to encourage workers of foreign origin to remote work from the Western Cape and the province has taken the lead on this.


Banking

Compared to most African countries, South Africa’s banking infrastructure is robust, and most residents have a bank account. The main banks all have a widespread footprint of ATMs and branches throughout the country; the latter, in most cases, offer foreign exchange services.


Weather

Cape Town has a temperate, Mediterranean climate with hot, dry (often windy) summers and mild, wet winters. The geography of the peninsula means we have several ‘microclimates’ and it’s not uncommon to experience all four seasons in one day. The summer season lasts from November to March and winter is from June to August.

No matter the time of year, the weather should not be a deterrent if you’re thinking about packing up and heading south.


Personal Safety

When in public, always conceal valuables (e.g. cash, cameras, jewellery) and be mindful of your surroundings when using ATMs and handling money.

Be cautious after dark, particularly if you’re on foot, and, like any city, avoid dark alleys and quiet streets.

CCID’s public safety team are deployed throughout the central city district and strengthen usual law enforcement. Safety officers operate in two nine-hour shifts, from 08h00 until 17h00, and from 20h00 until 05h00, and are identified by their yellow uniforms and green CCID bibs.


Internet & Connectivity

South Africa is one of the most technologically resourced countries on the African continent. As the most digitally connected city in Africa, coming to Cape Town to work remotely and travel is breezier than the summer southeaster. In the city and surrounds, you’re never too far from a free Wi-Fi hotspot while the ongoing deployment of fibre optic connections makes streaming and broadband intensive tasks a painless experience.

 

Average download speed: 73 Mbps

 

Connecting you to a local mobile network with sim card and personal number, complimentary airtime and data is part of DAY1’s service packages.

 

Cost of data:

500MB – R149 ($9 US)

1GB – R249 ($15 US)

2GB – R399 ($25 US)


Local Cuisine

The wide variety of food and flavours of Cape Town mirror such a multicultural society and in the Mother City there are loads of unique tastes to savour. Be it Cape Malay fare from the Bo Kaap, ‘shisa nyama’ in the townships, a world-renowned restaurant or a traditional braai (BBQ) at home, don’t miss out on enjoying the indigenous dishes of the region. Explore. Eat. Indulge yourself.


Co-working in Cape Town

As one of the world’s most desirable work away destinations, Cape Town is deliberate about looking after remote working professionals. Wherever you choose to establish your remote office for the day, there are more than enough spaces kitted for hot desking, collabing and creativity. Here are just a few:

Built in a converted warehouse at Cape Town’s iconic V&A Waterfront, Workshop17 is a space in which startups and experienced companies, profit and non-profit, big and small, can come together to talk, collaborate, experiment and innovate.

A designer co-working space with pleasure features, Inner City Ideas Cartel offers an exclusive work and play club on a day pass or longer-term membership basis. Enjoy coworking spaces, pools, lounges, bars, gyms, and a members-only perks program.

A standout venue in Cape Town’s ‘hipster hub’ of Woodstock, ‘WEX’ is where ideas and innovation meet coffee and culture. The Field Office at Woodstock Exchange is an open plan shared workspace where entrepreneurs and the remotely employed can integrate and create.

WeWork, in the heart of Cape Town CBD, features private spaces, dedicated hotdesks and full floor offices rented on a monthly basis. While high-speed WiFi, hard-wired Ethernet and business class printers are part of the deal, WeWork sets itself apart by being dog-friendly.


Getting Here

Cape Town International Airport (CPT) is South Africa’s second busiest airport serving domestic and international flights. An increasing number of airlines fly direct to award-winning Cape Town International Airport. Located 20 minutes from the city centre, the airport serves non-stop flights from Amsterdam, Dubai, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London and Zurich to name a few.

AMS → CPT 11 hours 30 mins (non-stop)

DXB → CPT 9 hours (non-stop)

FRA → CPT 11 hours 30 mins (non-stop)

LHR → CPT 11 hours 30 mins (non-stop)

JFK → CPT 15 hours (non-stop)

ZRH → CPT 11 hours (non-stop)

Need a hand getting here? Speak to us about arranging flights to Cape Town.


Accommodation

This table of accommodation options is by no means exhaustive and gives a snapshot of options and prices. Prices vary depending on the neighbourhood you choose with the city centre and immediate surrounds being the most expensive areas to reside. Chat to DAY1 about your needs and preferences or let our experts advise you on the best-suited accommodation and rentals for you.

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

Getting Around

Like any modern city, Cape Town’s public transport options are ample, and all the major vehicles hire companies are available for those who prefer getting around on a self-drive basis. These are just a few options for getting around Cape Town.

Public Buses

MyCiTi Buses are a cheap and easy way to move throughout central Cape Town and the outlying suburbs with routes extending as far as Hout Bay, Century City and Melkbosstrand. MyCiTi Buses are wheelchair accessible and are accessed on a rechargeable card-based system. Services operate from early morning to late at night during ‘business as usual’ conditions. (Currently, MyCiTi services operate in accordance with the level 2 curfew from 23:00pm to 04:00am – check timetables for real-time info.).

Ridesharing

Uber and Bolt are the dominant ride-hailing apps and are well-represented in the city and the Western Cape’s outlying hubs.

Metered taxis

There are a number of metered taxis available and it’s easy to grab one in and around commercial zones such as hotels, shopping centres, the airport and attractions. Expect to pay in the region of R10/km for metered taxis in Cape Town.

Tourist Buses

The red City Sightseeing buses are an ideal way to explore Cape Town at your own pace on a ‘Hop on, Hop Off’ basis.

Bicycle

Cape Town is bike-friendly and bicycle lanes accommodate cyclists in many areas. Bicycle rental companies can be found around the city and surrounds, and you won’t have to look far to acquire your own pedal power.


Healthcare

The Western Cape is a malaria free area and, before the pandemic, visitors did not require vaccinations to gain entry.

Like most countries, South Africa has introduced health screening and COVID-19 measures for international arrivals. At the moment (subject to change), these are the steps you should follow to be compliant (please ask us about the latest COVID travel information).

  1. Download, print and complete the Traveller Health Questionnaire (Entry) not more than 2 days before arrival. The same applies when leaving South Africa.
  2. Provide a valid, printed certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours (3 days) from the time of departure for South Africa. The test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and the certificate must have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted the test.

Currently, there is no mandatory quarantine unless arriving passengers fail to present a valid and negative COVID-19 PCR test. This will require quarantine at own cost. In addition, travellers who display COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with an infected person will be required to take a COVID-19 test at their own cost. If the test result is positive, travellers are subject to a 10-day quarantine at a designated site, at their own cost.

Download, print and complete the Traveller Health Questionnaire (Exit) not more than 2 days before departure.

Medical facilities in Cape Town include both state and private hospitals. Always check your travel insurer’s inclusions, terms and conditions as it relates to healthcare in South Africa.


Annual Events in the Western Cape

Arts, concerts, conventions, food, wine, sports and more, the Western Cape has a lively events scene supported by world-class venues such as the CTICC, Cape Town Stadium and Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. Several banner events occur annually and offer something for every season including:

Cape Town Minstrel Carnival (Tweede Nuwe Jaar) – January

Red Bull King of the Air – January

Cape Town Pride Festival – February

Two Oceans Marathon – March

Cape Town Cycle Tour – March

Cape Epic – March

Cape Town International Jazz Festival – March

Knysna Oyster Festival – July

Clanwilliam Flower Show – August

Robertson Slow Food & Wine Festival – August

Cape Town Marathon – September

Franschhoek Uncorked – September

Open Book Festival – September

Hermanus Whale Festival – September

Rocking the Daisies Music Festival – October

Gugulethu Beer & Whiskey festival – November

Kirstenbosch Summer Concert – December


Volunteering & Community Upliftment

South Africa’s socio-economic challenges are noticeable and the divide between the few of means and the many who go without shouldn’t be overlooked. These systemic issues will become apparent when you arrive in Cape Town – for example, when you exit the airport, you’ll encounter low-income areas which line the highway between the airport and city. Before long, the environment changes dramatically giving way to modern buildings and expansive properties. At street level, you’ll meet friendly but needy people at traffic lights and while walking.

Against this backdrop, communities in need can benefit from your time, skills, donation or other means of assistance. Ask us about the best avenues to contribute and give back to local communities responsibly.