Living in Seychelles
Seychelles is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) with a population of close to 95,000. Since its independence in 1976, the country has made remarkable social and economic progress, with the government committed to people-centered development and bettering the quality of life for all residents of Seychelles.
The beauty of the islands and their natural resources have been used to foster vibrant tourism and fisheries sectors, which have supported the economy over the years and created the global visibility that Seychelles now has. This visibility has brought an influx of local, regional, and international investments to the country, not only in tourism and fisheries but also in other sectors such as construction, real estate, retail, and ICT.
Therefore, more infrastructure, jobs, homes, facilities, and services have been created to provide a more comfortable, enjoyable, and modern life.
In Seychelles, education is compulsory up to the age of 16 years and free from pre-school through to secondary school until the age of 18 years. There are currently 39 state schools, 9 post-secondary schools, 4 private schools and 1 university; University of Seychelles.
The government ensures access to quality education to the population. Students who complete their secondary education can attend further training in their field of choice in teacher education, business, humanities and science, and hotels/tourism. A growing economy with greater investment opportunities will require a significant increase in the country’s skills capacity, allowing for locals to invest or be employed in more lucrative/higher paid specialized services. This will require educational institutions and special skills training centres to support the demand.
Similarly our large Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) makes Seychelles ideal for the opening of Ecological and Maritime based universities and research centres.
Mahe, Praslin and La Digue are the main inhabited islands of the Seychelles, where land is divided into districts. A range of residential options are available, both for rent and for sale. Housing can range from luxury apartments and villas to more affordable studio apartments, semi-detached and detached houses.
The Ministry of Lands and Housing (MLH) is responsible for facilitating adequate housing to the citizens of the country and has developed numerous housing communities on the islands. Its target is to build a total of 1,118 houses by 2020.
Private housing projects have also been on the rise over the years, with the likes of Eden Island, Eden View Village and Pangia Beach for example, offering a more high-end choice to locals and foreigners alike.
Banking in Seychelles has developed substantially over the years. There are currently seven commercial/retail banks, one development bank, one offshore bank, and two housing mortgage/cooperative banks operating in Seychelles. Aside from creating jobs and wealth, together they create a financial market place that allocates resources to the productive sectors of the economy.
Monthly salaries earned by Seychellois citizens are progressively taxed, with SCR 8,555.51 as a tax-free threshold.
Non-Seychellois employees also pay a progressive income tax rate starting at 15%, with no tax-free threshold. For businesses, Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax levied on the sales of goods and services provided at the point of entry and charged at the point of sale. Other taxes are also applicable for businesses. For the complete list of taxes, visit the Seychelles Revenue Commission website.
The transport system on the main island of Mahe is well-developed, with two-lane highways, primary and secondary roads running around the coast as well as across the mountains, giving easy access around the island. Praslin, the second-most inhabited island in Seychelles is serviced by one main road around the island, and other secondary roads leading to housing communities, hotels etc.
The most popular mode of transport on the islands is the bus, because of its affordability and its service to most routes. The island of La Digue is only accessible by ferry and the main modes of transport there are the bicycle, ox-cart or electric buggy. One main ferry line provides several trips per day between these three islands. There is also the availability of car hires and taxis.
Due to the relatively short travelling distances between places of interest, there are currently no railways or sky trains. A large percentage of the population on the two main islands also travels by car. This has meant constant work to improve and develop road infrastructure; be it the widening of roads, adding extra lanes, or creating more roundabouts. Travelling between the main islands of Mahe and Praslin, as well as some outer islands, has been made easy through regular domestic flights, or through boat trips. Helicopter trips are also available to some islands.