FAQ - Internship in South Africa


1. Do I get paid for my internship in South Africa?

In general there are no salaries for interns in South Africa. The reason for that is the visa. It`s based on an unpaid activity. So the companies are officially not allowed to pay you anything. For getting paid you would need a working permit. But it`s really hard to get one and usually it`s out of question for interns.

2. What`s the Black Economic Empowerment Law?

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the economy of South Africa is boosting. But not all groups of population take equal advantage of the economical growth. Most of the black population is still very poor. Backing them to enhance their standard of living, the South African government introduced the Black Economic Empowerment Law. The aim is to educate the black population, to prefer black people as employees, to increase the socio-economic development of black population segments as well as to give blacks augmented leadership positions in companies. The Black Empowerment Law is supposed to work long term. It already had big impacts on the South African economy and plenty more are estimated.

3. Is my electrical equipment functioning in South Africa?

Power given by South African sockets is definitely enough for making your electrical equipment from home work. Even so the shape of South African outlets is different to the European ones. But that shouldn`t bother you as you get an adapter as part of our starter package.

4. Can I use my debit card in South Africa?

To get cash in South Africa you can easily use your normal debit card. Cash Points are located basically in every shopping center. Be aware of fees for withdrawing, your bank may charge you. We recommend you to ask your bank for information regarding their charging fees before you leave. Most places also accept credit cards such as Eurocard, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa. Paying by traveler`s checks is also possible. Opening a South African bank account for a short term is quite hard.

The South African currency is Rand (ZAR):

- circulating bank notes: 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 ZAR

- coins: 5, 2, 1 ZAR as well as 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 Cent

5. Do I need a health insurance while staying in South Africa?

While staying in South Africa for an internship you definitely need a valid health insurance. Just ask us if you need help with finding an insurance company. We recommend health insurances by ADAC or STAtravel

6. Which vaccinations are recommended for South Africa?

For South Africa there are no entry requirements regarding vaccinations. Although we recommend a refreshment of the common vaccinations. Moreover you should have vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B as well as for Polio. If you plan a trip to other African countries, as to Mozambique or to Namibia, you need a vaccination for Yellow Fever as well. In several parts of South Africa there is also the risk of Malaria. If you want to go there you have to take certain pills.

Visit your doctor before leaving and ask him for detailed information.

7. Am I accessible on my cell phone in South Africa?

As soon as you arrive at the airport in Cape Town we`ll give you a South African SIM-card. Putting it into your cell phone from home you are accessible immediately. Recharging your airtime is possible at every supermarket. So it`s fairly easy to start communicating with new friends and colleagues. For calling home we recommend you to buy a “WorldCallCard”. You get it at the supermarket as well. 

Area code South Africa: 0027

8. How much are the living costs in South Africa?

Wherever you are, costs of living are highly depending on your life style. Nevertheless in Cape Town they are slightly lower than in most of European big cities. For example restaurants in South Africa are comparatively cheap. The average costs of living in South Africa are 600 Euros per month.

9. Can I go to work by public transport?

In general we security wise recommend all interns to go to work by their own car.

But certainly there is public transport in Cape Town as well.

Mini Buses

They are driving on a close mashed net of routes, connecting the city center and suburbs of Cape Town. You`ll find those buses all over the city. To hop on you just have to wave. Then you have to ask the driver where the bus is going. Taking a mini bus is an adventure, that`s for sure. The advantage: cheap prices. Disadvantage: it`s quite dangerous. The condition of most of the buses is bad and the way they drive reminds sometimes of action movies.

Rikis

Rikis is a cheap alternative to usual taxis. You call them and they`ll pick you up at your door step. While going to your destination Rikis will pick up more people. For that reason it can become quite a long journey till you`ll arrive the place you want to go. But by using Rikis you can meet interesting people and sometimes get surprises you never expected.

Cabs

Besides Mini Buses and Rikis there are usual cabs in Cape Town as well. They`ll charge you up to 10 Rand per kilometer. At night they are the only alternative to an own car

10. What choice of leisure time activities do I have in Cape Town?

Cape Town is not without a reason one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It`s location is unique and there are plenty of leisure time activities you can choose from. The V & A Waterfront as well as Long Street are nice places for shopping. For those who are interested in culture there are arts galleries and museums. Sport freaks are spoilt for choice. In Cape Town you can do surfing, diving, swimming, hiking, horse riding, sky diving, golfing, etc. And never forget Cape Town`s sandy beaches for getting a nice tan.