BPO is the short form of Business Process Outsourcing, which means, that some companies relocate single departments abroad because certain locations bring them advantages. Especially the Customer Service is often outsourced, as it can take place digitally and be controlled externally.
Customer Service is responsible for receiving and processing enquiries from customers (usually final consumers of a product or service) by phone or in writing (e.g. via email or live chat).
South Africa is already a popular BPO location for European companies and continues to grow as such. There are many reasons for this: the English language, no or only slight time difference to Europe, which gives customer service employees attractive working hours, and cost savings, e.g. because salaries in South Africa are lower than in Europe. The Europeans are nevertheless attracted to metropolises such as Cape Town, as the cost of living is also significantly lower, and salaries are thus above average. Companies can therefore hire employees with the highest language quality.
In Cape Town you can find an apartment very quickly. Principally, you can move in as soon as the previous tenant has moved out, i.e. regardless of the beginning of the month. Thus, it is well possible to find something suitable at short notice. A very popular website is Gumtree and also on Facebook you can find different groups, in which new flat advertisements are published daily.
When you come to Cape Town you should think about moving into a Business Shared Flat which are built differently from those known from Europe. Often the rooms are already furnished, which makes the relocation to Cape Town a lot easier and in many cases, they have an en suite bathroom. Business Shared Flats are very common, so you can find room mates who share your attitudes and needs.
So, you can arrive relaxed and look for a new place to stay while staying in a Guest House, Airbnb or similar for the first time. However, the alternative of making a firm commitment to accommodation directly from the home country also works perfectly.
There are too many leisure activities in Cape Town to list here. From relaxing in nature to sports, action and nightlife, everything is on offer and that's what makes the city so special and popular.
Cape Town's surrounding nature is diverse. Lying on the Atlantic Ocean, there are numerous beaches that invite you to swim, surf, kayak or other activities. Those who are lucky will discover whales, sharks, seals, dolphins or penguins in the water, which are at home at the Cape. Those who are interested in animals won’t be disappointed - in South Africa there are many species at home, even safaris are possible not far from the city.
Cape Town is also surrounded by mountains such as Lions Head and Table Mountain, whose hiking trails guarantee a breath-taking view of the city. Nature lovers and sports enthusiasts will come at their expense in forests and national parks such as the Cape of Good Hope.
What else to experience?
Discover food markets such as the Old Biscuit Mill Neighbourgoods Market, the V&A Food Market, the Mojo Market or the Earth Fair Market. Visit museums such as the Nelson Mandela Museum, the District Six Museum or the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa. Enjoy wine tastings in Constantia, Paarl and Stellenbosch as well as the best food in Cape Town's stylish restaurants from all over the world. Experience the nightlife in Long Street, Kloof Street and Bree Street and let yourself be convinced of Cape Town's incomparable work-life balance by concerts, festivals and much more.
If you come from Europe, you will find life in Cape Town to be very favourable due to the exchange rate and this is indeed the case in comparison to many other large cities in the world. The accommodation is the most expensive - in the city centre the rents are on a European level. On the other hand, the leisure life is much cheaper. So, you pay e.g. for a full meal in an average restaurant about 120 Rand, for a cinema visit about 80 Rand and for a one-way-ticket by public transport 15 Rand.
If you live in or near the centre, you usually don't have to travel long distances anyway. You can buy or rent a car, but you don't need to. Within the city centre and in the direction of certain districts, the bus network is very well developed. The MyCiTi buses run regularly during the day and are safe. In addition, there are the more hectic mini buses, which also run on fixed routes, but where you can get on and off at any point.
For those who prefer it a little more personal, taxis are available. Alternatively, Uber is very well established: An app in which you enter your departure and arrival points, which calculates your exact fare beforehand and then sends your driver to you promptly. Besides the classic cash payment, you have the option to have the money conveniently debited from your credit card and the prices are quite affordable.
And when you're on foot, you can easily orient yourself to Table Mountain, Lions Head and Signal Hill, which surround the city centre.
South Africa has 11 official languages and is not called a ‘rainbow nation’ for nothing. But you don't have to be afraid not to understand the Cape Town people. English is among these official languages, is the business language and is spoken by almost every inhabitant at least as a second or third language.
Since many people want to emigrate to the beautiful South Africa, the government has tightened the entry regulations. In order to protect the local economy, a general work permit is no longer issued. However, there is a so-called ‘critical skill visa’, i.e. a visa for certain positions that are difficult to fill with South Africans. Within the BPO sector, customer service in connection with certain European languages, falls under this category. So, if you find a job in customer service and have a few more qualifications, you can immigrate and get to know and love life under the South African sun.
We are happy to support you in your search and advise you at any time in the application process!
If you have any questions or concerns about your visa, our sister company Black Pen Immigration will be happy to help. On their website you can find an overview of the different visa types, such as the ‘critical skill visa’.
After three extremely dry years, Cape Town's government declared a water emergency in spring 2018, which resulted in strong austerity measures for residents and businesses. After the winter of 2018 was as wet as usual, however, the situation improved significantly again. Since October 2018, 70 instead of only 50 litres of water per inhabitant can and should be used daily again, so that the underground canals can be properly flushed again.
And even if one still must pay attention to the water consumption, the people of Cape Town feel little restricted. After they reduced their consumption by 60% during the crisis, a change in mentality has taken place and people have simply become accustomed to using less. So, you don't have to worry anymore. The dams again have a water level of over 70% and many measures such as tapping unused groundwater reservoirs, building desalination plants and recycling water have reduced dependence on dam water. Cape Town is therefore well protected against ’day zero’ in the future as well.
South Africa's reputation has suffered from the fact that the country often appears mainly in connection with violence in the European media. South Africa has a high unemployment rate, which is why many people have to move to the big cities, end up on the streets and have to beg. However, many things are also exaggerated.
You should not present your valuables in public, carry your handbag close to your body, always lock your apartment and car. After dark you should no longer be alone and only stay in busy streets. Credit card fraud unfortunately occurs, which is why you should never let yourself be helped at the machine and should not let your card out of your sight when paying.
But if you follow these natural security rules and use your common sense, you will have a wonderful time here. Since the 2010 World Cup many things have improved, so that the security in Cape Town's centre is no less than in other big cities of the world.
Since Cape Town's medical care is the same as in Europe, you don't have to worry about illness and accidents. However, most South Africans prefer to be treated in private hospitals, as the level of medical care in a state hospital drops dramatically.
You can find an overview of the hospitals and their services here and here. By the way, many international doctors have also settled in South Africa, so that it is also possible to visit a doctor who speaks your home language.
Pharmacies can also be found on every corner, you can find them easily on Google. There are even prescription-free medicines in large drug stores and supermarkets.
Why do so many people feel they have to travel to Cape Town? Why is it said that every visitor to South Africa will come back one day? And why do so many people want to stay until the end of their lives?
South Africa is the most developed country on the continent and especially Cape Town is a very modern and diverse city with people from many different nations and cultures creating an incomparable atmosphere. You will meet many open-minded and passionate people who are always so interested, helpful and hospitable that you immediately feel welcome.
In addition to the country's culture and history, Cape Town also overwhelms with its varied nature and world-class wining and dining. Find out more about Cape Town's leisure activities above, which guarantee you a unique work-life balance.
Emigrating is also a great challenge but working and living abroad is always associated with personal development. As you meet many new people, you will get to know yourself and your strengths better, deepen your language proficiency and improve your skills such as empathy and openness. And of course, you can learn a lot about the country and its people: For example, did you know that Cape Town has the world's fifth-best blue sky? That in South Africa you can dare the world's highest bungy jump from a bridge? That traffic lights are called 'robots' and pick-up trucks are called 'bakkie'? Or that the South Africans have their own time and relaxed attitude and you should eat something before you go to a 'braai'?
Dare to take the step and gain experiences you will never forget again!