By Luyanda Pewa, head of KZN region at Mindworx Consulting.

If Joburg is the place to earn money and Cape Town is the place to spend it, what’s Durban’s role? We’ll let you in on a secret: Durban is the place that comes closest to offering it all.

Durban – and other KZN cities and towns – are more than just holiday destinations. Sure, salaries may not be as high as in Joburg or Cape Town, but throw in the best lifestyle in South Africa and the pros and cons balance out beautifully.

Let’s look at salaries first. According to the CareerJunction salary index for 2017, in fields like building and construction, manufacturing and assembly, and even sales, KZN salaries are not that much lower than Gauteng and the Western Cape. In the engineering disciplines and in architecture, salaries are higher than the national average.

Yes, there are some fields where salaries are substantially lower, one of which is listed as ICT, but our KZN office currently has very good opportunities in tech roles. And then there is an interesting difference in attitude which astute Gautengers could capitalise on if they wanted to make the move to KZN.

In our Joburg office, we find that generally candidates are less risk-averse, so they don’t have any concerns taking a job on a two-year contract. KZN candidates seem to be more uncomfortable with a perceived lack of stability and security, whereas a Joburger would go into that situation thinking that it offered the possibility of leading to full-time employment, and certainly that it offered good experience and put them in touch with other likely employers.

Now let’s talk about lifestyle. This is the area where KZN ticks all the boxes. The tropical climate means that even in July you can swim in the sea and you can spend days hanging out on South Africa’s best beachfront in Durban where beach games are allowed, making this a great place for young families.

It’s not all about the beach and the ocean, of course. Durban’s vibrant urban lifestyle offers loads of entertainment opportunities. Further afield the Natal Midlands and Drakensberg make for beautiful day trips or weekends away. And here’s a really important point if you’re thinking of going coastal: without knocking any other town, it has to be said that the people of KZN are as warm as their weather and will welcome you with open arms.

KZN is a very attractive proposition in a world where people – and particularly the millennial generation – increasingly favour experiences over things, smaller homes, minimalism and decluttering, and a sharing, caring economy rather than ownership and consumerism (Uber, Airbnb, ethical and sustainable brands).

Just over a year ago we opened a Mindworx office in Umhlanga Ridge because we were convinced that KZN offered great potential and business opportunities. Demand has grown enough to sustain a team of 5 consultants dedicated to the KZN resourcing market, proving our instincts about this region correct. Contact us if you’re beginning to understand the wonder of living in our beautiful province year round.