Understanding work culture in Cape Town

work contract
Updated 2022-11-06 12:56

You are ready to take the plunge and come to work in Cape Town, but you are wondering about your integration in an unknown environment. Expat.com offers you an overview.

The workload in Cape Town

Expats who come to work in Cape Town often find that the daily rhythm and workload are nothing like what they were used to before. It seems that Cape Towners feel that there are many more enjoyable ways to spend their time, and for them, the notion of work/life balance is paramount. On the other hand, since employers are aware that Cape Town attracts not only qualified workers from all over South Africa but also many expatriates (which explains why job offers are few), salaries are relatively low (compared to those in Johannesburg), and turnover is very limited.

The work atmosphere in Cape Town

The work atmosphere is rather relaxed, and employees are encouraged to give their opinion and share their ideas. Dress is casual, with few companies requiring employees to wear formal office attire, except in certain sectors requiring uniforms or specific dress. There is no "casual Friday" in the American way, as it is casual all week long.

Cape Town people are friendly and welcoming and will easily offer newcomers a drink after work. But they are more difficult to get to know intimately because they are busy with their family, school and friends. So it's up to you to make the first move by suggesting lunch or inviting the co-workers you like and their families to your place. Sports are also a good way to break the ice.

Working hours and paid leave in Cape Town

Office hours are generally from 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays (3:00 or 4:00 p.m. on Fridays). Maximum working hours are 45 hours per week. Paid vacations are 21 consecutive days per year per full year worked for people working full time.

There are many expatriates in Cape Town, and many return to Europe during the winter (June to August), and this seasonality of economic activity affects the tourism sector and related jobs.

Health insurance for expats in Cape Town

Your employer is not obliged to take out health insurance or a complementary insurance policy if this was not discussed at the time of signing the contract. The employee contributes to the UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund), which is unemployment insurance, but the rights are minimal.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.