Cost of living in South Africa

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:

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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district R 109
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) R 59
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast R 41
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk R 14
12 eggs, large R 34
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes R 18
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese R 63
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples R 22
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes R 20
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket R 18
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality R 90
2 liters of Coca-Cola R 17
Bread for 2 people for 1 day R 12
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in EXPENSIVE area R 14,953
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 Sqft) furnished accommodation in NORMAL area R 9,618
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat R 1,361
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in EXPENSIVE area R 11,079
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 Sqft) furnished studio in NORMAL area R 7,123
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 Sqft) studio R 803
Internet 8 Mbps (1 month) R 650
40” flat screen TV R 5,714
Microwave 800/900 Watt (Bosch, Panasonic, LG, Sharp, or equivalent brands) R 1,462
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) R 85
Hourly rate for cleaning help R 77
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) R 812
1 summer dress in a High Street Store (Zara, H&M or similar retailers) R 611
1 pair of sport shoes (Nike, Adidas, or equivalent brands) R 1,303
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes R 1,286
Transportation
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 150 CV (or equivalent), with no extras, new R 297,908
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas R 15
Monthly ticket public transport R 677
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex, or equivalent brands) R 71
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) R 190
Short visit to private Doctor (15 minutes) R 445
1 box of 32 tampons (Tampax, OB, ...) R 48
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) R 33
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) R 52
4 rolls of toilet paper R 27
Tube of toothpaste R 17
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city R 137
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub R 337
2 tickets to the movies R 167
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) R 797
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert R 532
1 cocktail drink in downtown club R 62
Cappuccino in expat area of the city R 29
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) R 30
iPad Wi-Fi 128GB R 7,977
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) R 1.90
1 month of gym membership in business district R 575
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.

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 Potgietersrus 157
2nd Pretoria 122
3rd Johannesburg 112
4th Carletonville 107
5th Cape Town 100
6th Orkney 95
7th Durban 92
8th Polokwane 91
9th Port Elizabeth 87
10th Bloemfontein 77

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:

Recent Prices Added

  • Monthly rent - 85 m2 furnished accommodation in expensive area in Johannesburg costs R 10,500 (2 days ago)
  • 1 liter of whole fat milk in Cape Town costs R 17 (2 days ago)
  • 500 g of boneless chicken breast in Cape Town costs R 54 (2 days ago)
  • Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) in Cape Town costs R 50 (2 days ago)
  • Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district in Cape Town costs R 120 (2 days ago)
  • Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new in Cape Town costs R 330,000 (2 days ago)
  • 1 liter of gasoline in Cape Town costs R 17 (3 days ago)
  • Monthly rent - 85 m2 furnished accommodation in expensive area in Johannesburg costs R 5,000 (4 days ago)
  • Monthly rent - 85 m2 furnished accommodation in expensive area in Johannesburg costs R 7,500 (5 days ago)
  • Public transport in Johannesburg costs R 1,400 (5 days ago)