South Africans in the United Kingdom

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South Africans in the United Kingdom
South Africa England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland United Kingdom
Total population
South African-born residents
203,477 (2011 census)
252,000 (2019 ONS estimate)
Regions with significant populations
London, South East England
English (British, South African), Afrikaans

(Anglicanism · Calvinism · Methodism)

Judaism, Traditional African religion, Irreligion
Related ethnic groups
Zimbabwean British, Afrikaners, British diaspora in Africa, South African American

South Africans in the United Kingdom include citizens and residents of the United Kingdom with origins in South Africa.


The 2001 UK census recorded 140,201 South African-born people living in the UK. According to the 2011 UK census, 186,355 South African-born people were resident in England, 4,668 in Wales,[1] 10,607 in Scotland[2] and 1,847 in Northern Ireland.[3] The Office for National Statistics estimates that, in 2019, 252,000 UK residents were born in South Africa.[4]

Unlike the Republic of South Africa itself, the majority of the South African diaspora living in the United Kingdom are White South Africans. 84 per cent of South African-born residents of England and Wales at the time of the 2011 census identified as White, with 44 per cent identifying as White British. 6 per cent identified as Black, 5 per cent as Asian and 4 per cent as mixed ethnicity.[5]

The majority of these people[clarification needed] are concentrated in largely affluent areas of London[according to whom?], the anecdotal evidence being that many are business people working in the City of London. There is, for instance, a South African-born cluster in the Canary Wharf area[according to whom?]. In fact[according to whom?], London has the second-largest number of South African expatriates in the Western world. University towns such as: Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Bristol also show significant clusters of South African-born students. Many young people with British family ties have come over the years to work in the UK, including the public services.[6]

Notable South Africans in the United Kingdom[edit]

South African born British people have contributed heavily in sports, especially in Commonwealth sports such as Cricket and Rugby. 17 South African born players have played for the England national cricket team and over a dozen have played for both the England and Scotland national Rugby Union teams collectively. They have also contributed heavily in television and to at least 10 Olympic medals.

Name Occupation
Alex Bell Scotland Footballer with 1 cap in 1912
Allan Lamb England Cricketer between 1982-1992
Andrew Surman England U-21 Footballer with 4 caps and 1 goal between 2007-2008
Andrew Strauss England Cricketer between 2003-2012
Antony Sher British Actor
Basil D'Oliveira England Cricketer between 1966-1972
Beth Tweddle British Gymnast, three time world champion and Olympic bronze medalist
Bill Perry England Footballer with 3 caps and 2 goals between 1955-1956
Brad Barritt England and British and Irish Lion Rugby Union Player with 26 appearances between 2012-2015
Bob Holness British Quiz Show Host
Brian Stein England Footballer with 1 cap in 1984
Cameron Norrie British Tennis Player and former world number 66
Caspar Lee British Youtuber and Vlogger with 7.5 million+ subscribers (Born in UK but raised in South Africa)
Chris Smith England Cricketer between 1983-1986
Colin Viljoen England Footballer with 2 caps in 1975
Craig Kieswetter England Cricketer between 2010-2013
Doreen Mantle British Actress
Elize du Toit British Actress
Frances Rivett-Carnac British sailor, Olympic gold medalist
Frank Osborne England Footballer with 4 caps and 3 goals between 1922-1926
Gordon Hodgson England Footballer with 3 caps and 1 goal between 1930-1931, 241 goals for Liverpool FC
Ian Greig England Cricketer in 1982
Jade Dernbach England Cricketer between 2011-2014
Jason Roy England Cricketer from 2014
Johan Steyn Judge and peer
John Hewie Scotland Footballer with 19 caps and 2 goals between 1956-1960
Jonathan Trott England Cricketer between 2007-2015
J. R. R. Tolkien British Author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and World War 1 veteran
Justin Rose English Golfer, Major winner, Olympic champion and former world number one
Justine Waddell British Actress
Keaton Jennings England Cricketer from 2016
Keri-anne Payne British Swimmer, two time world champion and Olympic silver medalist
Kevin Pietersen England Cricketer between 2004-2014
Kyle Edmund British Tennis Player and world number 14
Lillian Board British middle distance runner and Olympic silver medalist
Mark Shuttleworth British Millionaire
Michael Lumb England Cricketer between 2010-2014
Mike Catt England Rugby Union player, 2003 World Cup winner
Matt Prior England Cricketer between 2004-2014
Neil Broad British tennis player, former British number one and Olympic silver medalist
Natalie Steward British swimmer, Olympic silver and bronze medalist
Nicky Hambleton-Jones British Television Presenter
Peter Hain British Politician
Reg Osborne England Footballer with 1 cap in 1927
Robin Smith England Cricketer between 1988-1996
Ronald Harwood British Playwright
Rupert Obholzer British rower and Olympic bronze medalist
Sid James British Actor
Stuart Abbott England Rugby Union player, 2003 World Cup winner
Stuart Meaker England Cricketer between 2011-2012
Teignmouth Melvill British polo player, Olympic gold medalist
Tom Curran England Cricketer from 2017
Tony Greig England Cricketer between 1972-1977
William Rawson England Footballer with 2 appearances between 1875-1877
Zola Budd British distance runner and Olympian

British people of South African ancestry[edit]

Name Occupation Link
Natasha Kaplinsky news presenter (South African father of Polish descent)
Joan Collins actress, author and columnist (South African father)
Jackie Collins novelist (South African father)
Sienna Miller actress, model, and fashion designer (South African mother)
Andrew Lincoln actor, director (South African mother)
Christian Bale actor (South African father)
Andy Zaltzman comedian, radio personality (South African father)
Daniel Radcliffe actor (South African mother)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw actress (South African father)
Asanda Jezile Singer (South African father and mother)
Kegs Chauke footballer (South African father and mother)
Dan Smith singer (South African mother and father)


  1. ^ "2011 Census: Country of birth (expanded), regions in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Country of birth (detailed)" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Country of Birth – Full Detail: QS206NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Table 1.3: Overseas-born population in the United Kingdom, excluding some residents in communal establishments, by sex, by country of birth, January 2019 to December 2019". Office for National Statistics. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020. Figure given is the central estimate. See the source for 95% confidence intervals.
  5. ^ O'Brien, Rachel; Potter-Collins, Angela (18 June 2015). "2011 Census analysis: Ethnicity and religion of the non-UK born population in England and Wales: 2011". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Born Abroad – South Africa". BBC News. 2005-09-07. Retrieved 2007-10-17.