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Moving to Joburg?: A Guide to Living and Working in Johannesburg

Moving to Joburg?: A Guide to Living and Working in Johannesburg
July 16, 2019 gnuworld

South Africans from other cities commonly move to Jo’burg for work-related reasons, temporarily or long term.

It can be intimidating to navigate the city, especially if you’re a newcomer. To help, we offer a round-up of useful information about living and working in Johannesburg.

First, what to expect

Salaries and cost of living in Jo’burg

Salaries aren’t necessarily higher in the City of Gold.

In January 2019, recruitment platform Adzuna calculated that the average Jo’burg salary was R359 285 per annum. This was R14 888 lower than Cape Town’s average salary.

Generally though, costs tend to be lower than in the Cape. One cost-of-living index calculated that an equivalent standard of living cost R3000 less a month in Johannesburg than in Cape Town.

Jo’burg traffic

Johannesburg’s notorious traffic jams are the densest in the country, according to the 2018 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard. But Capetonians lose more time in traffic jams overall.

Try the i-TRAFFIC site for up-to-the-minute traffic information across Gauteng.

The climate

Being on the Highveld, Johannesburg has air that’s comparatively thin and dry – and of course, it’s in a summer rainfall area. The city’s summer thunderstorms are a sight to behold.

For Jo’burg weather forecasts, try timeanddate.com.

Both eyes open

Johannesburg is plagued by high crime. It always pays to be careful. That said, its notorious reputation isn’t fully deserved. According to the 2018/19 State of Urban Safety in SA Report, Cape Town has a higher rate of serious violent crimes.

For help in any emergency, dial 10177 (the same emergency number as elsewhere in South Africa), or dial 112 from a cell phone.

Online resources for if you’re new to living and working in Johannesburg

Public transport

The Gautrain, a network of buses, minibus and metred taxes and Uber are all popular options for getting around the city.

Find out about the Gautrain and check Gautrain stops and timetables here: https://www.gautrain.co.za/

For Jo’burg bus routes and timetables, check https://www.mbus.co.za/ or https://www.checkmybus.com/johannesburg-gt.

This portal is useful for booking longer bus trips, while this is a one-stop shop for planning expeditions around the city.


To locate a nearby hospital, try these lists of public hospitals and clinics or private hospitals in Johannesburg.

To find a doctor, try the Jo’burg listings on sites like RecoMed or RateMDs.

Jo’burg malls and markets

JoburgSnob.com provides a useful directory of Jo’burg malls, categorised based on which part of the city they’re in.

You’ll find more details of key Jo’burg shopping malls, from Mall of Africa to Melrose Arch, here.

Also, try Vibescout for a rundown of the best food, craft and weekend malls in and around the city.

Things to do for fun

A guide to living and working in Johannesburg wouldn’t be complete without mention of the many entertainment options in the city.

These include watering holes and clubs, good restaurants, art galleries, theatres and live performance venues, nature reserves and parks and more.

Also, if you’re looking for fun but inexpensive things to do in between working in Johannesburg, this list is a good place to start.

Johannesburg coworking and office space

At The Workspace, we offer affordable Jo’burg coworking and office space, at a number of branches across the Greater Johannesburg area.

Our workspaces are ideal if you’re new to the city. They’re furnished and professionally decorated, and business facilities and services are already set up. So after moving to Jo’burg, you can join a branch and start work straight away.

All our members have access to high-speed internet, meeting rooms and boardrooms, fully equipped kitchens, comfortably furnished relaxation areas and more.

Find out more about our Johannesburg branches or contact us online to arrange a tour of a branch near you.

Contact us to find out more

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