With projects such as the 2010 World Cup football stadium, construction is booming in South Africa and the country is desperate for professionals

What’s it like?

“Loads of people told me I shouldn’t go to Johannesburg, so when I went anyway I wasn’t sure if I was being brave or stupid,” says David Donald (pictured), a project manager with Mott MacDonald. “But in the two years I’ve been here I’ve had no problems. Of course you lock your doors and keep your wits about you but it doesn’t feel any less safe than London.

“The climate’s great – clear blue skies mostly, and it’s good for getting to other places in South Africa because it’s central.

“I’ve now moved to Cape Town. We’re working as part of a joint venture for Transnet, which focuses on freight-related infrastructure such as ports and railways. We’re involved several projects, but I’m now the project manager looking after the expansion of the container terminal in Cape Town.

“It’s great to feel you’re doing something for the good of the country. The projects are of national importance, and you’re adding value, so you feel good about your work, and yourself as well.”

What’s happening there?

South Africa is a real boom construction industry at the moment. There are huge projects to get involved with such as a new train route linking Johannesburg to the airport and Pretoria, football stadiums for the World Cup in 2010 and lots of mining projects. There are huge opportunities, and the country is desperate for professionals in the construction industry, especially in project management.

What you can earn

QS: £46,500
Civil engineer: £55,000
Project manager: £46,000

How to spend it

Cost of pint: £1.50
Cost of renting one-bed flat: £300/month
Cost of a 10-minute taxi ride: £2

Working Life: Redundancy