Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Sandton, Jo'burg / expat tax

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sandton, Jo'burg / expat tax

    My partner and I have an opportunity to live and work in Jo'burg. His office would be in Sandton. Any info on life there would be very welcome. Is there good (safe) housing in the area? What is the rental cost of a 2-bedroom place? What might it cost to buy similar? Would I (female) be safe on my own while he is away on business? Would I be able to go out and about or would I be stuck at home for safety reasons? Is the housing in Sandton in the form of individual properties or (for example) do people live in developments of apartments with shared facilities eg swimming pool, restaurant, fitness centre? Would it be better to live near the office or are there better areas within driving distance? Would this be safe? (Worried about reports of car-jacking). How safe is the place really?

    I believe that income tax ranges up to 45%. Would we have to pay tax in SA on his / our earnings? How do we find out what rate we'd pay? (I've visited the SA Revenue Service site but it doesn't say!) Would we be tax-free to start with or would we start paying as soon as we arrive?

    Many thanks for any info offered - it's really hard to decide if you want to move to a place you've never seen!

  • #2
    Originally posted by CathyH
    My partner and I have an opportunity to live and work in Jo'burg. His office would be in Sandton. Any info on life there would be very welcome. Is there good (safe) housing in the area? What is the rental cost of a 2-bedroom place? What might it cost to buy similar? Would I (female) be safe on my own while he is away on business? Would I be able to go out and about or would I be stuck at home for safety reasons? Is the housing in Sandton in the form of individual properties or (for example) do people live in developments of apartments with shared facilities eg swimming pool, restaurant, fitness centre? Would it be better to live near the office or are there better areas within driving distance? Would this be safe? (Worried about reports of car-jacking). How safe is the place really?

    I believe that income tax ranges up to 45%. Would we have to pay tax in SA on his / our earnings? How do we find out what rate we'd pay? (I've visited the SA Revenue Service site but it doesn't say!) Would we be tax-free to start with or would we start paying as soon as we arrive?

    Many thanks for any info offered - it's really hard to decide if you want to move to a place you've never seen!
    Cathy,

    Sandton is where many businesses relocated after apartheid ended. It's an upmarket suburb, relatively new, with many gated communities. The communities are known as "Security Complexes" and have security guards, high walls, usually with electric fences on top, and remote-controlled gates. In addition, houses/apartments usually have alarms with armed response. Even with this kind of security, break-ins are not unheard of. Insurance is mandatory, and expensive, but you do get rate reductions for having security features (immobilizers on your vehicles, anti-hijacking systems, living in a security complex, etc. Sandton is probably as safe as Johannesburg gets.

    I would say that you would probably be safe in such a setting even when your partner is away on business, and that you would be safe to go out and about. Exercise caution, and don't drink and drive, don't drive places you aren't familiar with in the dark, etc. Many people will probably shout me down and say that South Africa isn't safe, and that they know many people who have been victims of crime.

    The truth of the matter is that South Africa suffers from an excess of violent crime. This situation has been around for decades, thanks to the downfall of apartheid and the general sense of lawlessness that made apartheid South Africa ungovernable. South Africans who lived through the State of Emergency years and the post-1994 years are still traumatised and feel a hightened sense of vulnerability. Crime is still very high as compared to say, rural England, and high as compared to other cities in the world. Johannesburg has the highest crime rate in South Africa, but remember that Johannesburg incorporates areas such as Hilbrow (a ghetto) and Sandton (an exclusive suburb with hightened security features). Crime in other South African cities is less severe.

    Your questions regarding tax are best answered by a lawyer. As near as I can tell, you will be liable for tax in your country of residence. If you don't pay tax in South Africa, you can expect to pay tax at home. If you get a residency visa, you will be liable for tax in South Africa as you will be consdiered a resident.

    If you and your partner are not married, you may not be eligible to work under his visa.

    I would caution you strongly about making an irreversable move without first visiting the country. If it is a fixed-term contract, you have little to lose and it might be a great experience.

    My personal opinion of Johannesburg is dismal. I haven't been to outside of Johannesburg International Airport since 1993 and if I never go back to Johannesburg I won't shed a tear. Cape Town, Durban and other coastal cities are glorious, however. I would be exceedingly sad never to return to those, and if it weren't for the US Army having a prior claim to his life, my husband and I would seriously consider moving back to Cape Town.

    I cannot advise you with regards to the cost of living in Johannesburg. Try Pam Golding Properties - they have a website, but bear in mind that they focus on luxury property and are unlikely to list their lower-priced homes and flats.

    I hope that helps.

    Ches

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Ches

      Hi Ches

      Very many thanks for this very helpful info, especially that I might not be able to work under my partner's visa. The Sandton housing situation sounds reassuring - but we still plan to try to visit before making a final decision.
      Cheers
      CathyH

      Comment


      • #4
        Cathy,

        You are very welcome.

        I suggest you visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website. I know that South Africa treats same-sex partnership equal to marriage, so it's possible that "de facto" relationships are also given equal status.

        Ches

        Comment

        Working...
        X