So you’ve sold your candidate on making a career move to Cape Town, usually sealing the deal with the jewels and charm of the Mother City’s scenic beauty, cosmopolitan culture and, justifiably named as one of the New7Wonders Nature, Table Mountain of course.
But what exactly does such a trek involve for the person deciding to pack their bags and setup in a city they may have only “vacay’d” in before.
One of my ex bosses always used to coin the phrase “Change is as good as a holiday” and it was with similar thought in mind that 33-year-old Phumzile Makhubo, a Product Owner, decided to take the leap to relocate from Sandton in Joburg to our shores – ironically one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations.
“I just wanted a change, meet new people and enjoy the Cape Town views.”
The move was quite daunting for Makhubo, who not only had to find a new home but accompanied by only her beloved dogs, would face the challenges all by her lonesome.
“I didn’t have any friends, family or support system in Cape Town, that was a bit worrying. I didn’t know how I would settle in the city.”
She’d already discovered that accommodation was quite costly, and she needed to secure safe travel, kennels and a new abode where her two dogs would be permitted to stay.
The huge move did not come without aid, as her new company provided a relocation lumpsum.
A friend of Makhubo’s helped her drive down and although not ideal, she opted for a B&B while hunting for a new home.
Here for nearly 2 years, the now Plumstead resident says there’s still much she misses about Joburg, mostly being her family, friends and ex-colleagues. There are also barriers in terms of language, as she’s not fluent in Xhosa and Afrikaans which including English, is predominantly spoken here.
While she struggles to make friends, she would advise candidates considering relocation to also be conscious of and “really put effort” into meeting new people. She does however love the fact that Cape Town has a variety of free activities and her dogs are welcome in most places.
“I can visit many restaurants and hotels with my dogs.”
For Software Engineer Justin Smith, 33, the move to Cape Town was not only driven by a yearning for change, but something he envisioned for years.
“I’ve wanted to move to Cape Town since I was a child.”
Even after hearing salaries here were lower in comparison to Gauteng, he engaged with Datafin and in contrast found some good offers were on the table.
Besides his belongings getting here in one piece, his biggest concern was whether his daughter would find a spot in a school and wouldn’t struggle to fit in.
“Most of the schools were full and require you to already live in the area before considering your application or want you to have a signed lease at the least. But if they are full, why would you move into the area. So, it requires taking a leap of faith that you will get in.”
Smith was also fortunate to have family in Cape Town who assisted him getting original applications to the schools which they required.
His company also helped in the way of a sign on bonus for the expense of relocating and to cover the deposit and first month’s rent at his new place.
Like Makhubo, he has also found making social connections a bit difficult. He also stressed, that professionals wanting to move to Cape Town should try to find accommodation as close to work as possible to avoid our traffic jams, which have unfortunately have become commonplace during the commute on city roads to and from work.
But despite the hurdles he has had settling in, he too shares Makhubo’s sentiment that there are always things to do here, it’s a foodie’s delight and that there’s just an undeniable allure when it comes to the beauty of Cape Town.
“There is so much to do here and with the sun going down later here than in Joburg, it is the best place for after-work activities. There are also so many amazing restaurants here. I love the beauty that you experience every single day – the mountain, the ocean and the forests.”
Convinced? Hurry to firstname.lastname@example.org – Cape Town Welcomes YOU😉