Cost of living in South Africa

Summary of cost of living in South Africa

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: R 36,337
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: R 18,068
  • Cost of living in South Africa is cheaper than in 67% of countries in Africa (6 out of 9)
  • Cost of living in South Africa is cheaper than in 82% of countries in the World (74 out of 90)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district R 106
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) R 61
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast R 42
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk R 14
12 eggs, large R 34
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes R 20
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese R 59
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples R 23
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes R 19
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket R 17
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality R 88
2 liters of coca-cola R 21
Bread for 2 people for 1 day R 12
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area R 14,525
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area R 9,129
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat R 1,212
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area R 10,394
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area R 6,288
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio R 720
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) R 583
40” flat screen tv R 5,091
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) R 1,337
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) R 74
Hourly rate for cleaning help R 42
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) R 720
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) R 643
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) R 1,255
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes R 1,143
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new R 309,851
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas R 16
Monthly ticket public transport R 600
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) R 64
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) R 228
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) R 467
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) R 46
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) R 30
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) R 54
4 rolls of toilet paper R 26
Tube of toothpaste R 19
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city R 123
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub R 343
2 tickets to the movies R 174
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) R 733
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert R 522
1 cocktail drink in downtown club R 61
Cappuccino in expat area of the city R 30
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) R 31
Ipad wi-fi 128gb R 7,506
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) R 1.78
1 month of gym membership in business district R 511
1 package of marlboro cigarettes R 42

Map of Cost of Living in South Africa

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This map shows only the top cities in South Africa. We also have on this page a list of all the cities available in Expatistan:
List of all the cities available in Expatistan

The color of each marker corresponds with the cost of living in the city red markers show more expensive cities green ones show cheaper cities
Moving the mouse on top of a city will show its name and the Cost of Living Index of that city.

What is the Cost of Living Index? To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Cost of Living Ranking in South Africa

(top cities by data quality)

Ranking City Price Index *
1st Middelburg, Mpumalanga 103
2nd Potgietersrus 100
3rd Pretoria 91
4th Johannesburg 88
5th Orkney 83
6th Durban 83
7th Cape Town 82
8th Polokwane 78
9th Richards Bay 75
10th Bloemfontein 68

Price Index:

To calculate each city's Price Index value, we start by assigning a value of 100 to a central reference city (that happens to be Prague). Once the reference point has been established, the Price Index value of every other city in the database is calculated by comparing their cost of living to the cost of living in Prague.
Therefore, if a city has a Price Index of 134, that means that living there is 34% more expensive than living in Prague.

Are you moving to South Africa? Do you know how much money you will need there to maintain your current standard of living?

Find out what is the real equivalent in South Africa of your current salary and improve your chances of a happy relocation.

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Prices recently added

  • Cocktail drink in downtown club in Cape Town costs R 61 (about 9 hours ago)
  • 1 bottle of red table wine, good quality in Cape Town costs R 90 (about 10 hours ago)
  • 1 liter of whole fat milk in Cape Town costs R 27 (about 10 hours ago)
  • Internet connection 300 mbps, 1 month in Cape Town costs R 900 (about 10 hours ago)
  • Internet connection 300 mbps, 1 month in Cape Town costs R 600 (1 day ago)
  • Monthly rent - 45 m2 furnished studio in normal area in Richards Bay costs R 6,500 (4 days ago)
  • Basic dinner out in neighborhood pub, dinner for two in Pietermaritzburg costs R 240 (4 days ago)
  • Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city in Pietermaritzburg costs R 55 (4 days ago)
  • 75 ml tube of toothpaste in Pietermaritzburg costs R 14 (4 days ago)
  • 12 rolls of toilet paper in Pietermaritzburg costs R 19 (4 days ago)