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Common misconceptions and clichés about life in South Africa

Hello everyone,

Old clichés die hard, as the saying goes... and living in South Africa can generate lots of misconceptions in the eyes of the people.

What are the most common misconceptions about the expat lifestyle in South Africa?

What are the most common clichés about life in South Africa in general?

Did you have a biased view of the country before moving there? What is you view now?

Thanks in advance,


The most common misconception about life in South Africa, by far, is that it is a very dangerous place. Especially Johannesburg still gets labeled as "the murder capital of the world" when in fact crime has been on the decline there for years and it is far lower on the list of dangerous cities than you would think, behind places like Chicago, Mexico City, and pretty much any city in Central America.

I'm not saying it's the safest place on Earth. That label probably goes to Singapore, a city where I've also lived. But while one never had to fear for one's life or even purse when walking the streets in Singapore, life there had other drawbacks. You have to take it all as a package. South Africa has many great things going for it. Instead of naming them all here, let me just point you to this recent blog post of mine about that very topic: … south.html

I hope I've answered your question. Follow me on Facebook to hear more from my blog, Joburg Expat, and tidbits of fun and interesting facts about life in South Africa:

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