How to find a job in Cape Town

Work in Cape Town
Updated 2019-10-03 13:21

The reality may seem discouraging, but before tackling all the necessary steps to be able to work in Cape Town you must take into account the current economic realities of the country. Although it may long have given the image of an ‘Eldorado', things have changed considerably in recent years and the most recent statistics are not particularly encouraging: inflation is at 5%, with growth in decline (-3.5% forecast in the last quarter of 2019), the rand (South Africa's currency) has plummeted, and unemployment exceeds 28% of the working-age population.

Without being discouraged, we urge you to read our article on "The Labour Market in Cape Town " before taking definitive steps.

Added to this already complex situation are the protectionist policies of employment and an immigration policy that has strongly affected the availability of visas for Europeans since 2018. The South African taxation system, as well as poor contractual conditions (3 weeks or 15 working days of paid leave, no social security or pension insurance for the vast majority, etc.), adds to the global challenge for hopeful professionals in Cape Town.

If despite this, you decide to try your luck without having secured a contract, you may find the following information, advice and steps useful.

Requirements for working in Cape Town

Firstly, it is essential to understand that everything will depend on your visa. Transforming a temporary visa (or a visa that does not allow you to work) into a paid work visa is a long and painstaking process. In many cases, companies are reluctant to help and prefer those candidates who already have or do not need a visa. Arm yourself with patience, courage and stubbornness - you may need it.

Similarly, unless you apply for very specific jobs in Cape Town, mastery of English is an absolute prerequisite. If necessary, take an intensive course to get your level up to standard.

Job search in Cape Town

Consider Facebook groups built by your fellow expatriates in Cape Town. You can post adverts, ask for advice and start working on your network. While we are on the subject, why not read our two articles on the development of your social circle and professional network in Cape Town.

Francophones may wish to contact the MAZARS French Desk, a professional integration tool for French speakers in Cape Town, who can assist you with legal terms, recruitment and business creation, but also guide you to the right providers for all visa issues. French Tech and Cap40 offer regular conferences and roundtables, which can be very useful when you are starting a business or looking for a job. They can also assist you in your research.

For the job search itself, naturally international sites like Monster, and CareerBuilder will allow you to deepen your search. Obviously, joining the LinkedIn community is a must, as it is all over the world. There are also two "French friendly" recruitment sites in Cape Town: Polyglot Group and ADEPT Recruitment.

There are of course also numerous sites in South Africa or with South African connections to consult: Careers24, CareerJunction, Indeed, Jobcrawler, Jobmail, Bizcommunity, Thejobsportal, Zasimplyhired, Jobvine, etc.

At the end of your studies or research, remember to contact Internafrika, a trainee placement service.

Setting up a business in Cape Town

Finally, you can, of course, set up your own business. The legal steps are disconcertingly easy in South Africa. However, it is necessary to adapt your visa to represent this status, to invest in the country and to use local premises. All this requires time and perseverance: we would highly recommend you think deeply about your project before coming to settle in Cape Town. Also, have a look at our article "Setting up a business in South Africa".

 Useful links:

Career junction

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