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Germans in South Africa: Du bist nicht allein

Whether you are a German from Namibia or a German from Germany, somewhere between the German societies and events in South Africa and the local Ubuntu culture, you will find your place.

The fear of not being able to fit in, in South Africa should be the least of your concerns. South Africa has one of the most diverse cultures in the world, but even though it might be daunting being the only yellow jellybean in the party-packet, at least you can take comfort in the fact that no one else fits in either! In other words, you are in the right place. Between the multicultural locals and fellow German expats, you are bound to find a place for you.

Believe it or not, there are actually a number of German clubs, societies and festivals that you can be a part of in South Africa. So whenever you feel home-sick, do not fear! Bratwurst and Fräuleins are closer than you think…

    • Bierfest

Ranking as South Africa’s largest beer festival and inspired by the Bavarian Oktoberfest, Bierfest brings a taste of Germany to the cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban in October of every year. Each location can host up to 4000 people and offers locally brewed Bavarian-style beers, beer-pong competitions as well as live oom-pah bands. Don’t miss out on this year’s event!

Book your ticket at:

    • The Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut is also in Cape Town. For those of you who don’t know, The Goethe-Institut is a cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. The institute aims to inform and educate German individuals or anyone who takes an interest in the culture and origin of Germany. They offer weekly events ranging from art exhibitions and film screenings to German language and literature lessons.

You can reach them at:

    • XING

XING is a networking platform for German-speaking professionals. With a free membership sign-up, you can quickly connect with other German professionals and start growing your professional network. Business events take place on the last Thursday of every month, giving you the opportunity to connect, not only online, but in person as well.

Sign up for their membership at:

    • Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt

If you are planning to reside in South Africa and are unsure of which school to enrol your children at, it might be interesting to take note of the Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt. This school is not only advantageous because it teaches in German, but also because it incorporates other languages as well. The school specifically does this in order to help promote learning through interaction between German and South African cultures. Moreover, Deutsche Internationale Schule Kapstadt also offers a combination of the German Abitur and the South African Matric in order to provide for individuals who would like to study in their home country.

For information contact them at:

Local Culture in South Africa:

    • Ubuntu

South Africa is known for its ‘Ubuntu‘ culture. Ubuntu can be defined as possessing humanness or having a quality that encompasses both empathy and compassion toward others. The concept, although first coined by the Nguni people (Banthu-speaking, nomadic herders originally form central Africa), has in recent years spread cross-culturally and continues to do so. As a German living in South Africa, you are likely to come across this way of life and will subsequently be incorporated, accepted and cared for by the locals.

Likewise, two of our staff members here at Initiate International’s Cape Town offices are German expats and share similar experiences. They have both experienced Ubuntu culture in South Africa and have made use of various support systems to help them adapt to the environment.

Joachim Schuckmann (Immigration Director):

Joachim is a Namibian German and he first moved to Cape Town in 2002 to study at the University of Cape Town. For Joachim, the greatest challenge was moving from a remote area to the big city. He found that befriending and connecting with other students from abroad who shared similar interests and experiences, helped him to better adjust to the new environment. Joachim is reminded of the sense of community he has back home through South African Ubuntu culture. He believes that this also had a role in making the transition from Namibia to Cape Town more ‘gemütlich’.

Michaela Gabriel (Marketing Director):

Michaela is a European German. She first moved to Cape Town in 2001 to complete her MBA, while starting up a small web design agency and experiencing South African culture. For Michaela the biggest challenge was to stay focussed on her studies without being distracted by all the outdoor activities Cape Town has to offer. She quickly made friends with local South Africans who took her in and made her feel at home, yet she also made use of various German societies to sustain her original roots.

Just like Joachim and Michaela, you too can enjoy being German in sunny South Africa. Nothing is stopping you from chugging down a Bavarian-style Weiss beer and watching the sun set over Table Mountain. Send us your CV and we will place you in your dream job in either Cape Town or Johannesburg.

If you have any questions about job vacancies for German speakers in South Africa, don’t hesitate to email us.


(t): Cape Town: + 27 21 488 9800

(t): Gauteng: + 27 11 243 1800

Germans in South Africa – Du bist nicht allein! | Language Recruiters

Recently moved to Cape Town or Johannesburg? There are German schools, German business networks and even exquisite German bakeries and butcheries in South Africa.