Understanding SA Lifestyle & Culture

A vibrant, friendly and welcoming bunch, South Africans young and old, can often be found huddled around, roasting meat over a roaring open fire – having a barbecue or ‘braai’.

Largely avid sportsmen, South African men can easily be engaged on most sporting topics, including soccer (the PSL is the local league), rugby (the Currie Cup, Super 15 and international tests) and cricket of course. A lot of business is concluded on South African golf courses too.

Local beers include Castle, Black Label, Amstel and Heineken, while inexpensive and high quality wines can be bought at the local supermarket, alongside truckloads of fresh, top grade fruit. International brands you may recognise include Nestle, Coke, Pepsi, Apple, Guess, Louis Vuitton, McDonalds and much more!

The local satellite television provider DStv, also supplies satellite television services up into the rest of Africa, while Vodafone has a large mobile network presence in Vodacom, competitor to MTN, Virgin Mobile and Cell C.

The Rand is the local currency

Known as the Rand, South Africa’s local currency unit is broken up into 100 cents. The currency averages an exchange rate of around R13 to €1, but has been known to fluctuate as low as R9 and as high as R15.

There are 11 official languages

With eleven official languages and a large community of expats who speak everything from French to Portuguese and Mandarin, South Africa is a veritable linguist’s paradise.


The de facto language used in most South African businesses. Many young African couples, in fact, choose to raise their children speaking only English nowadays.


The youngest language in the world, Afrikaans was only officially recognised as a language in 1925. Still one of the three most commonly spoken languages in South Africa, especially among the Colored and African communities in the Western Cape.


These make up the balance of the population’s language demographic, but visitors need not fear, as most South Africans are multilingual and are usually able to converse surprisingly well in English or Afrikaans.

Know your South African slang

With everything from ‘Yebo!’ to ‘lekker’ and ‘auntie,’ the cosmopolitan hodge-podge of languages and cultures in South Africa’s Rainbow Nation have blended together to form a unique and memorable vernacular, or commonly used day-to-day language.

Fun facts on SA

Photos of SA

  • Mossel Bay
  • The Drakensberg Mountains
  • V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Cape Penguin, Boulders Beach
  • Boabab Tree, Limpopo
  • Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town
  • Northern Suburbs, Johannesburg
  • Blyde River Canyon, Limpopo
  • Turtles in Kosi Bay, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Nelson Mandela Bridge
  • Great White Shark, Cage Diving, Cape Town
  • Springbok, Karoo
  • 3 Giraffe, Pilanesberg National Park
  • African Elephant, Kruger National Park
  • North Beach, Durban
  • Vineyard, Cape Wine Route
  • Surfer
  • Game Drive (Safari)
  • Union Buildings, Pretoria
  • Table Mountain
  • Beach View, Chapman's Peak Drive, Cape Town
  • Jacaranda Trees, Pretoria
  • Sandton Skyline, Johannesburg
  • Burchell's zebra

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