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In the first part of this programme, we took a look at the administrative formalities that have to be completed when you arrive in South Africa. Once you’re there, you have to find somewhere to live and organise your children’s schooling and your healthcare. We propose to give you an insight into these three major topics to help make life easier for you in your new home. Let’s begin with finding a home:

Property is generally cheaper than in France but it’s not that cheap if you want something that’s high-quality and secure. Once again, you mustn’t take the security issue too lightly, you have to take your time. So, it may require a certain budget. Otherwise, as I’ve said, apart from TV and phone subscriptions, things are generally cheaper than in France.

When you’re looking for a home, you’re strongly advised to pay close attention to the security issue. You’ll need from two to eight weeks to find your home. Leases are from one to three years and include a one or two-month security deposit. If you move into a city like Johannesburg or Pretoria, the monthly rent will be around 7,000 rands (approximately 450 euros) for a three-roomed apartment and 25,000 rands (nearly 1600 euros) for a detached house in a residential district. In Cape Town, the monthly rent for a three-roomed apartment will be higher. You should expect to pay around 11,000 rands for a three-roomed apartment (700 euros) in a residential district. Rents vary considerably depending on the district and the security systems with which the properties are fitted. Once you’ve rented your apartment, you’ll need to think about schools for your children. Here’s what you need to know from the outset:

It’s an Anglo-Saxon system; the children are in uniform, so it’s an Anglo-Saxon model. So, you even have French people who choose to put their children into the South African system. It’s something of a two-tier system: there are private schools that generally offer a good level, then unfortunately, there are a certain number of state schools where the quality of the education poses a problem.

There’s a gap between the good-quality schools and the disadvantaged schools. This is the consequence of the apartheid policy and the inequalities that still exist, despite the introduction of a democratic regime over twenty years ago. As South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, the school year begins in January and ends in December. As far as the school week is concerned, lessons take place from Monday to Friday, from 8am to 2pm. The afternoon is given over to sporting or cultural activities, but these depend on the schools’ financial resources. Lessons are mostly taught in English and Afrikaans. But children who have a foreign mother tongue can replace Afrikaans with other lessons. If you want to stay in the French education system, Cape Town has a French primary school and secondary school, and Johannesburg has the Lycée Jules Vernes. And don’t forget your health. Like the school system, the health system is also relatively unequal:

The health system is rather like the education system: it’s a two-tier system. There are private hospitals, which are of good quality but are expensive, but you’re well looked after; then you have the public system, which is under-resourced and of poor quality It’s an Anglo-Saxon system, so mainly based on private insurance, but there are public hospitals. The country aims to offer social services, so you have a network of public hospitals, but the problem is more the quality of the care that’s on offer there.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa’s health system has become more affordable, with free healthcare for pregnant women and children. However, the public hospitals are still suffering from a lack of human and financial resources. We would advise you to look to the private hospitals: you have to pay for them, but they have more equipment and staff. So make sure you have good social security cover!


Video content: In the first part of this programme, we took a look at the administrative formalities that have to be completed when you arrive in South Africa. Once you’re there, you have to find somewhere to live and organise your children’s schooling and your healthcare. We propose to give you an insight into these three major topics to help make life easier for you in your new home. Let’s begin with finding a home:

Property is generally cheaper than in France but it’s not that cheap if you want something that’s high-quality and secure. Once again, you mustn’t take the security issue too lightly, you have to take your time. So, it may require a certain budget. Otherwise, as I’ve said, apart from TV and phone subscriptions, things are generally cheaper than in France.

When you’re looking for a home, you’re strongly advised to pay close attention to the security issue. You’ll need from two to eight weeks to find your home. Leases are from one to three years and include a one or two-month security deposit. If you move into a city like Johannesburg or Pretoria, the monthly rent will be around 7,000 rands (approximately 450 euros) for a three-roomed apartment and 25,000 rands (nearly 1600 euros) for a detached house in a residential district. In Cape Town, the monthly rent for a three-roomed apartment will be higher. You should expect to pay around 11,000 rands for a three-roomed apartment (700 euros) in a residential district. Rents vary considerably depending on the district and the security systems with which the properties are fitted. Once you’ve rented your apartment, you’ll need to think about schools for your children. Here’s what you need to know from the outset:

It’s an Anglo-Saxon system; the children are in uniform, so it’s an Anglo-Saxon model. So, you even have French people who choose to put their children into the South African system. It’s something of a two-tier system: there are private schools that generally offer a good level, then unfortunately, there are a certain number of state schools where the quality of the education poses a problem.

There’s a gap between the good-quality schools and the disadvantaged schools. This is the consequence of the apartheid policy and the inequalities that still exist, despite the introduction of a democratic regime over twenty years ago. As South Africa is in the southern hemisphere, the school year begins in January and ends in December. As far as the school week is concerned, lessons take place from Monday to Friday, from 8am to 2pm. The afternoon is given over to sporting or cultural activities, but these depend on the schools’ financial resources. Lessons are mostly taught in English and Afrikaans. But children who have a foreign mother tongue can replace Afrikaans with other lessons. If you want to stay in the French education system, Cape Town has a French primary school and secondary school, and Johannesburg has the Lycée Jules Vernes. And don’t forget your health. Like the school system, the health system is also relatively unequal:

The health system is rather like the education system: it’s a two-tier system. There are private hospitals, which are of good quality but are expensive, but you’re well looked after; then you have the public system, which is under-resourced and of poor quality
It’s an Anglo-Saxon system, so mainly based on private insurance, but there are public hospitals. The country aims to offer social services, so you have a network of public hospitals, but the problem is more the quality of the care that’s on offer there.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa’s health system has become more affordable, with free healthcare for pregnant women and children. However, the public hospitals are still suffering from a lack of human and financial resources. We would advise you to look to the private hospitals: you have to pay for them, but they have more equipment and staff. So make sure you have good social security cover!

Linked key words: daily life, South Africa

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