Cost of living in South Africa

Summary of cost of living in South Africa

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: R 36,279
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: R 17,962
  • Cost of living in South Africa is cheaper than in 50% of countries in Africa (4 out of 8)
  • Cost of living in South Africa is cheaper than in 78% of countries in the World (64 out of 82)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district R 108
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) R 62
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast R 40
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk R 15
12 eggs, large R 32
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes R 20
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese R 58
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 95
2 liters of coca-cola R 21
Bread for 2 people for 1 day R 11
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area R 14,153
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area R 9,152
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat R 1,200
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area R 10,754
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area R 6,521
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio R 782
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) R 572
40” flat screen tv R 4,894
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) R 1,409
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) R 83
Hourly rate for cleaning help R 35
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) R 711
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) R 624
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) R 1,335
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes R 1,146
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new R 315,822
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas R 16
Monthly ticket public transport R 597
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) R 64
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) R 186
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) R 492
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) R 47
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) R 31
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) R 53
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 342
2 tickets to the movies R 169
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) R 737
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert R 557
1 cocktail drink in downtown club R 62
Cappuccino in expat area of the city R 32
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) R 32
Ipad wi-fi 128gb R 8,617
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) R 1.79
1 month of gym membership in business district R 538
1 package of marlboro cigarettes R 41

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 96
2nd Potgietersrus 92
3rd Cape Town 80
4th Pretoria 80
5th Johannesburg 80
6th Orkney 77
7th Durban 76
8th Polokwane 72
9th Richards Bay 69
10th Bloemfontein 62

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.

Get a salary calculation for:

Prices recently added

  • Monthly rent - 85 m2 furnished accommodation in expensive area in Cape Town costs R 25,000 (1 day ago)
  • Daily rate for domestic cleaning help in Cape Town costs R 38 (1 day ago)
  • Utilities, monthly for 2 people in 85 m2 in Cape Town costs R 1,000 (1 day ago)
  • Furnished accommodation in normal area, monthly rent - 85 m2 in Cape Town costs R 15,000 (1 day ago)
  • Monthly rent - 85 m2 furnished accommodation in expensive area in Cape Town costs R 20,000 (1 day ago)
  • Internet connection 300 mbps, 1 month in Cape Town costs R 1,000 (1 day ago)
  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Johannesburg costs R 35 (1 day ago)
  • 1 month of gym membership in business district in Johannesburg costs R 399 (1 day ago)
  • 1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) in Johannesburg costs R 2.50 (1 day ago)
  • 500 ml beer in neighbourhood pub in Johannesburg costs R 25 (1 day ago)