Moving to Cape Town is an increasingly popular decision for expats thanks to the sweeping vistas, pristine coastlines, mild climate, serene mountains, and relaxed lifestyle. Surprisingly well connected for its geographic location, Cape Town expats come from all over the world, forming one of the most eclectic expat communities in the world.
Cape Town is one of South Africa’s three capitals and, while relatively small, has all the features of a much larger city, including world-class restaurants, premium shopping locations, and businesses on the cutting edge of their industries.
There are many benefits to moving to Cape Town, including the fact that this is the center of South Africa’s IT industry, although there is also a thriving film industry, financial services industry, and port activity. Educational institutions feature high quality curriculums, including the University of Cape Town, the highest-rated higher education facility in Africa.
This city may seem like an unusual choice because of its seemingly remote location, but with its thriving industries, the number of people moving business to Cape Town, the magnificent scenery, and eclectic community, it’s a metropolis that should not be overlooked.
Moving to Cape Town may seem a surprising choice, but the potential of the city cannot be underestimated.
For the expat entrepreneur relocated to Cape Town, the city is a place to connect with like-minded people from the IT industry, creative fields, and financial management industries.
Moving a business to Cape Town gives you access to these up and coming industries and the emerging market of South Africa, which has the third largest economy on the continent.
While real estate is expensive, the cost of living is much lower than what expats moved to Cape Town may expect from their home countries. If an expat entrepreneur in Cape Town works for USD or Euros, they will find that their salary will go a long way in the city.
If you need to relocate to Cape Town with your family, you can expect plenty of options for quality education through numerous international schools, private education facilities, and highly rated universities. The private healthcare system is relatively low cost and of good quality, with a variety of insurance plans to choose from.
Moving to Cape Town, South Africa, provides great recreation options. Outdoor activities are varied and numerous, with both mountain trails and beautiful beaches. The city is small enough to be walkable and features delicious cuisine, classy bars, and vibrant nightclubs.
Cape Town is a city with something for everyone, and the Cape Town expat with a penchant for the creative will be right at home.
If you plan on relocating business to Cape Town, you’ll be happy to know that there is no group taxation under South African tax law.
This means that each company you have is taxed as a separate entity which makes the city a good choice for a head office.
The corporate tax rate in South Africa is a flat rate of 28%, which is about the same for the continent.
Income tax is based on a progressive scale as follows:-
Those earning up to 226,000 Rand ($13,700) are taxed at 18% for the 2023 tax year.
Cape Town is located on the coast, which is good news for those trying to relocate via sea freight, but it is relatively remote, meaning the delivery time will be quite substantial.
In view of this, if you plan to move to Cape Town with your family, it pays to do a comparison between the cost of freight and the cost of purchasing new items.
Getting a visitor’s visa is recommended for expats who want to move to Cape Town to get a feel for the city.
Once you determine that you’ll be moving to Cape Town, you will need to look into residency permits.
We have a local E-Team Member in Cape Town, Immigrants Exclusive, whose experts can advise you on long-term and short-term plans, and assist you with South African visa applications.
Property prices in Cape Town are relatively stable and currently, sit at around $1,400 outside the city center and $2,070 per square meter inside the city center.
Rent for one bedroom in Cape Town is just under $500 per month outside the city center and just under $700 inside.
Three bedroom apartments in Cape Town are about $1,000 outside and $1,400 inside. It’s considered expensive for South Africa, but for the average expat moving to Cape Town these prices will often be lower than prices in their home countries.
Cape Town has a historical blend of both African San people and the Dutch. There is also a strong amount of French and British influence from various historical migrations, as well as other South African Tribes. This has all influenced the local cuisine, traditions, attractions, and events.
Afrikaans is the majority language in Cape Town though both English and Xhosa are spoken by most of the population. The average expat in Cape Town should be able to communicate without issue.
Generally speaking, expats relocated to Cape Town will want to opt for private healthcare since it is relatively inexpensive and high quality.
The public option has fine professionals, but wait times and lack of staff can lead to frustration.
The private system, commonly called medical aid by the locals, is supported by both local and international service providers. Options for comprehensive care and basic care are available.
South Africa favors expats who are relocating businesses to Cape Town that are in demand. Currently, garment manufacturing, hotel and restaurants, agriculture, IT, car care and accessories, cab services, grocers, imports, content writing, and graphic design are all in demand.
Income tax in South Africa is based on a progressive scale and is taxed between 18% and 45% plus a flat amount based on how much you earn from South African sources.
Expats usually live in the City Bowl or the surrounding suburbs, though two of the most popular areas for expats moving to Cape Town, South Africa, are Gardens, Vredehoek, and Woodstock.
While real estate can cost a good amount in South Africa, those earning USD or EUR should see most real estate prices are relatively low. Monthly costs of living are, again, high for South Africa but very low compared to western nations. If you relocate to Cape Town CBD, expect to pay around $425 for a one bedroom apartment or $780 per month for a two bedroom apartment.