Most expats sell their cars in their home country when they leave and buy a new one in South Africa. But what if someone doesn’t want to give their car up? Maybe it’s a vintage model or a custom-made dream car, or maybe they’ve just grown attached to a specific model that isn’t available in South Africa. Whatever the reason for wanting to keep your current car, there are ways to make it happen.
There is a lot of confusion around the topic of a South African driver's license for expats. Do you need one at all? Does it depend on your type of visa? if you do convert your foreign license to a South African one, will you have to take another road test? We've collected reader comments and information from various websites to give you some answers.
You could do no greater disservice to yourself and your family to stay at home and within the confines of your safe neighbourhood. There are beaches, wildlife, amusement parks, museums, scenic drives, and countless other mind-blowing activities all within driving distance of wherever you happen to live in South Africa. Get out there as often as you can.
So you’ve taken the plunge. Someone has convinced you that you’re special and talented. Your company could really use someone with your specific skillset at the branch in South Africa. Now you’ve just arrived in South Africa, and you’re filled with bright-eyed wonder. If you’re reading this, great news: you managed to find an internet connection. That’s your first win. Now what?
Of all the bureaucratic headaches assaulting you when moving to South Africa, perhaps none is as fraught with angst and speculation as that of the driver's license. But don't despair. It's really not as big of a problem as it's made out to be. Learn all you need to know about South African drivers' licenses and how, if necessary, to convert yours to one.
I remember how not having any phone the first 3-4 weeks of living in our gated community drove me crazy, not even being able to answer calls from the gate to let contractors in. The very contractors, I might add, that would help me be connected to the world, like the people from Telkom. A mobile phone was my ticket to everything that I needed those first few days, but I didn't have one!
I recently came across this line in a reader comment: "Good news: You no longer need to fill in a form. It's all done online! Bad news: they were offline." This deadpan comment had me laughing so hard I choked on my coffee. Those two little sentences, like nothing else, epitomize the South African bureaucracy I so came to loathe during our three expat years.
African time is like dog years. Or maybe it's the reverse if you really did the math correctly. My point is, everything takes about seven times as long as you're used to if, like most expats, you've grown up on a continent with a more mainstream concept of time. Or maybe I should come right out and say it: A more Western concept of time.
For Internet providers in South Africa, Afrihost seems to take home First Prize, with Neotel as the Runner-Up, but there seem to be some issues with inconsistent speed. I should mention, however, that the line speed depends on whatever Telkom line goes to your house. So if Afrihost is slow, it's because the Telkom line only goes up to 4 Mbps, as was the case for us.
Pets, it seems, are dear to the expat's heart, possibly dearer than her children. Every expat I know seems to have brought a pet with them. And every one of them has a story to tell. I decided to ask my readers and go ahead and collect the relevant excerpts from all these stories and print them here for you.