Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Systematic discrimination ended barely a generation ago and as such there are lots of lingering issues. Think the end of Jim Crow-era America - the laws may have changed but did the culture? There seem to be justifiable hard feelings and reconciliation and integration are yet incomplete. - Jan 2020

The country is very progressive, but old prejudices linger. There is relatively high gender equality and the country is making progress on racial prejudices. - Dec 2019

You can’t do anything in South Africa without being very aware of the huge social disparity between black and white. Although apartheid ended 20+ years ago, the effects of this will live on for generations. In broad strokes, most white people (5-10% of the population) are educated and employed, while black schools are often very bad, and the black unemployment rate is extremely high. While the vast majority of the country is legally open to everyone, in reality the economics are such that in many restaurants and hotels, it is still black employees serving rich white clientele. Pretoria — the capital of the Afrikaner government — is more segregated than many cities. There are very few black home-owners in the areas where most expats live. Johannesburg is pleasantly more diverse. There is a growing black middle class, and the university-educated black population is growing. But change takes a long time. - Mar 2019

Yes! There still seems to be extreme racism in the country and more so in Pretoria. It has made it very hard for us to live here. - Jun 2018

Racial tensions in South Africa are persistent and deeply felt. Just read the news. There is also a strong current of xenophobia against foreigners, though most of the targets of this are from other African countries. - Jan 2018

There are racial issues here. - Oct 2014

Yes. There is a rough history with race issues and the culture is still fragmented. - Jun 2012

Yes, lots under the surface. The city is the Afrikaans stronghold of the country so it tends to be more segregated. There aren't many straight-forward examples of racism, but the feeling is always there. Not many interracial couples. - Dec 2009

Well, you wouldn't want to consider a posting in South Africa unless you know something about apartheid and South African history in general. It's only been about 15 years since apartheid ended and changing attitudes doesn't happen overnight. There isn't just a black/white issue either - there are issues between white British descendants and white Dutch (Afrikaaner) descendants and there are numerous black tribes that come into conflict with one another. Add to that some recent flare-ups of xenophobia attacks in the townships where South African blacks are attacking black immigrants from neighboring countries, and yes, you definitely have racial and other tensions. But overall, the people are trying to find one 'South African' identity, and the 2010 World Cup is really bringing the nation together. - Aug 2009

There can't be a bigger issue than race here. If you live in Pretoria, you will see some nasty treatment on the part of the Afrikaners toward the Africans. In return and probably due to Apartheid, there are a lot of Africans who are suspicious of whites. Cape Town is a much more tolerant place where you will see far more interracial couples. - Feb 2009

Race is always a problem in South Africa, but things improve each year. - Oct 2008

Race is an issue. South Africans tend to self segregate. You rarely see mixed groups in restaurants. Some areas are clearly frequented by whites and others by blacks. Few places have both. No religious prejudice that I've seen. - Sep 2008

With apartheid in the not so distant past, there are still lingering issues. Also, society tends to be male-centric. - Jun 2008

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More