- Interview Questions for Copa Style Magazine:
1. How easy is it to travel to major cities in South Africa from the United States?
We think its pretty easy. Most major cities have international airports that will fly you to South Africa with either one to two connections, in London, Ethiopia or Ghana. Once in country there are several domestic airlines making it easy to connect to other cities, to include a private air option. The international flights are long, however, flying internationally, you are provided with comfort, food, in flight entertainment that includes movies, music, television shows , documentaries and alcohol (if that is how you relax)
2. If one wished to establish a new business in South Africa, how would they acquire the necessary documents and licenses?
Establishing a new business is not difficult. There is a process however we suggest you get on ground FIRST before thinking of establishing a new business. Once on ground and the decision to start a business here has been made then The Real South Africa can put you in contact with the right persons to assist you. We are considering this as a branch of our business as we get asked this question a lot and there is not one answer. This is South Africa. Not America. Yes, they have a system in a place but you cannot apply your American template to this system. You will be highly frustrated as the way South Africans do things is NOT how we do things. So you must be open to change from the beginning. The Entrepreneurial spirit in this country is high so for foreigners this is the best way too access this market. At the local government level they have a business incubators that can assist with connections, including the paperwork process and access to other business owners and possible funding.
3. Is it possible to transfer a driver's permit easily and how long would it usually take?
There is no need to transfer a drivers permit. You are allowed to rent and drive a vehicle for the duration of your tourist visa which is 90 days on your stateside driving license.
If you are planning to LIVE in the country for any reason at all, What you need is a traffic register number. The Traffic Register Number or TRN registers you in their traffic system and acts like a drivers license. And you must have a permanent or temporary visa in order to apply for traffic register number. This can take some time as you are required to have a local address in order to obtain one.
4. Banking, what type of banks would you recommend for newcomers to transfer their money to while setting up their businesses and special financial services?
Any bank will allow you to have a non resident account. It does come with restrictions and can be transferred to a regular account once permanent or temporary residence is established.
Transferring money to a international account requires wire transfers at this time and can take up to 3 days to clear your foreign account. Verification from both banks is required to have funds released.
However, once a non resident account is established, it is sometimes easier to withdraw the money from the foreign ATM in country from your bank in the United States and then go inside the foreign bank to deposit those funds into your account.
In addition you can use all your credit or debit cards from the United States here in country for Points of Sale and the conversion of currencies will done within your home countries banking system.
5. Would you suggest a tour of all of the major cities first or just enjoy everything in one city to get acclimated to the South African lifestyle?
Acclimating can happen in as little as a few hours. We do suggest that you visit the other cities as there are many “South Africa’s” within the country. Getting a feel for what it means to be in an urban environment gives you an opportunity to discover what you want. Once you see how it is. You immediately think, “I can live like this.” Ask a few of the persons who have come for a weekend and decided to move and relocated within 6 months after initial visit. Or a couple who was only supposed to be here for 6 days and ended up staying a month, looking for properties and plotting their relocation plan. But, it is a persons preference. We spent two months in Cape Town and several stents in Johannesburg before settling on Johannesburg. It is the hub of all business that takes place in the country and anything that is going to happen business related is going to take place here.
6. How would you describe the South African lifestyle?
I would describe it as authentically African with a westernized flare. They take a lot of cues from Black Americans when it comes to certain standards of life however, they do that without losing who they are in the process. They live a very high quality lifestyle and there is perfect mix of work and play and they truly value people.
7. In your opinion would you say that it's now a trend for many individuals to move to SA?
No, not a trend at all. We think for the few of us that have done it, only realized we could have a better life here after our initial visit. If you have never been, what we say and show you about the way our life is set up here, most people filter it through the lens of the media. This causes them to question our existence here, they believe we are sensationalizing our life. We can only say, that if more people would ignore the media, seek the truth and understand that we are not trying to sell them a “package” to visit South Africa but we are trying to give them the experience we had that eventually changed our trajectory in this life. The South African lifestyles are high and the money you make in the United States, with the currency conversion you find out that you can afford to live here and live very well. The influence of living in the majority versus living in the minority is very enticing plus everything you are looking for in the United States can be found here in South Africa. And lastly the weather is good!
8. Please describe some of the fabulous entertainment options and restaurants.
Where do I even begin. There are so many options for entertainment and good food. But I will name a few...They are in no particular order and we love them all. Plus there is so much to do on a daily basis we are still discovering gems after being here for 9 months.
We are little older so there is a jazz club the Marabi Club that has an awesome set. Then there is Sankayi a club that has the best mix of South Africa house music and 90’s r and b and hip hop all rolled into one. One of our absolute favorites is a restaurant called Signature, they have live Jazz music sang by local artists, a phenomenal view of the city and a cigar bar that is outstanding and their food is nothing short of amazing. The best steak and service in our opinion is The Grill House in Rosebank, we have a personal waiter there that is well versed on what wine goes with your dinner. And last but not least, Epicure the atmosphere in this place can only be experienced, owner and operator Chef Coco is a beast in the kitchen.
9. What are some services that The Real South Africa provides?
We provide custom itineraries, group trips and day trips in Johannesburg and Cape Town, Event planning if you are thinking of having your birthday, anniversary here or any occasion. We have contracts with local hotels to rent out spaces for such that include catering and overnight stays. We have packages already set up for those on their inaugural visit that allow a good overview of what to expect. We offer trips to 5 provinces, Gauteng (Johannesburg), Western Cape (Cape Town), Kwazulu-Natal (Durban), Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The latter two being more focused on cultural and nature based experiences to include stays at some of the South African National Parks. So A LOT really. We want to provide you with personalized experiences so we spend a lot time, visiting and vetting places. It can be overwhelming because you want to take your guests to see EVERYTHING in 6 days and its just not possible. Which is why we say, plan on coming for a visit, and while here, you will understand why this is where you will want all future vacations to be, there is so much to do and see and experience and its all positive. And once you allow us to take you to the heart of Johannesburg, Soweto, you will definitely feel at home.
10. How can we reach you?
We can be reached via phone at 844-WAKANDA or text 540-699-0932 email email@example.com, website www.therealsouthafrica.com, facebook The Real South Africa, Facebook Group The Real South Africa The Group, Instagram @therealsouthafrica18, Twitter @RSouth_Africa and Youtube bit.ly/RSAYoutube.