Cape Town: no longer just a trend

An established hub for remote work

Cape Town has become an established destination for remote work and digital nomads. We know that the lifestyle in Cape Town is something special, with its beaches and mountains and amazing food, but if you’re here to work you need access to fast and reliable fiber internet as a bare minimum and that’s not something your Air B&B will offer. But fret not dear nomad, the coworking community in Cape Town has you covered for that and so much more.  

Let’s look at the cost.  

It’s true to say that Cape Town, compared to other cities in South Africa is not cheap, whether you’re talking accommodation or airtime but compared to major cities, like London or New York I think you’ll find your money goes a whole lot further.  

According to Expatistan 

“The cost of living in Cape Town is cheaper than in 87% of cities in the world.”

When comparing Cities, we found that the cost of living in London was 223% higher and Berlin 84% higher than Cape Town. This takes accommodation, utilities, transport and food into account.  

It’s no wonder then that many companies in the Berlin Tech scene migrate to Cape Town over the European winter months. We’ve had a few in our coworking space over the years and some even make it an annual stop at Cape Town Office. Not just remote workers though, we’re seeing more and more VC’s and founders join the migration.  

It’s not just the warm weather that’s drawing them in either, since they all must do “some” work while they’re here, time zone plays a big role too. With only an hour difference between South Africa and most European countries, you don’t have to adopt a vampire lifestyle to live and work from Cape Town. The sun sets around 20h30 in the height of summer which means you can still get that last meeting in before hitting the beach for sundowners.  

South Africa’s Digital Nomad Visa 

Inevitably, most nomads fall head over heels with Cape Town and look for ways to extend their stay beyond the 3 months granted on entry. We’re now finally seeing some movement from the South African government on the issue, and this will make it even easier to choose Cape Town as a remote work destination.  

The new visa categories aim to attract skilled workers, particularly from the tech industry. The criteria for these visas include a minimum annual income requirement to ensure that the visa holders can contribute to the local economy. 

“According to the President, introducing a remote working visa responds to the rapidly evolving world of work, where increasing numbers of skilled workers, notably in the tech industry, are attracted by the lifestyle benefits of working from a remote location. It also caters to so-called digital nomads, who can work virtually from anywhere in the world.” Read more 

We’ll know more by the end of March 2024, so stay tuned! In the meantime, what are you waiting for? Book that flight and come visit.