Cost of living in South Africa

Summary of cost of living in South Africa

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: R 37,492
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: R 18,410
  • Cost of living in South Africa is cheaper than in 64% of countries in the World (48 out of 75)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district R 111
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) R 62
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast R 42
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk R 15
12 eggs, large R 32
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes R 21
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese R 61
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples R 24
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes R 17
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket R 18
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality R 101
2 liters of coca-cola R 22
Bread for 2 people for 1 day R 10
Housing
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in expensive area R 14,633
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area R 9,050
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat R 1,186
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area R 10,839
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area R 6,886
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio R 803
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) R 584
40” flat screen tv R 5,053
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) R 1,493
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) R 91
Hourly rate for cleaning help R 34
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) R 805
1 summer dress in a high street store (zara, h&m or similar retailers) R 610
1 pair of sport shoes (nike, adidas, or equivalent brands) R 1,337
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes R 1,178
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new R 345,568
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas R 15
Monthly ticket public transport R 656
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) R 68
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) R 226
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) R 500
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) R 51
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) R 31
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) R 50
4 rolls of toilet paper R 26
Tube of toothpaste R 19
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city R 128
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub R 348
2 tickets to the movies R 176
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) R 706
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert R 565
1 cocktail drink in downtown club R 68
Cappuccino in expat area of the city R 33
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) R 34
Ipad wi-fi 128gb R 10,867
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) R 1.78
1 month of gym membership in business district R 514
1 package of marlboro cigarettes R 44

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 108
2nd Potgietersrus 105
3rd Johannesburg 97
4th Cape Town 95
5th Pretoria 92
6th Durban 88
7th Orkney 86
8th Polokwane 82
9th Richards Bay 79
10th Bloemfontein 72

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

  • 12 doses box of antibiotics in Port Elizabeth costs R 350 (4 days ago)
  • Ipad wi-fi 128gb in Port Elizabeth costs R 16,000 (4 days ago)
  • 500 ml beer in neighbourhood pub in Port Elizabeth costs R 40 (4 days ago)
  • Nice dinner at an italian restaurant, dinner for two in Port Elizabeth costs R 800 (4 days ago)
  • 2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) in Port Elizabeth costs R 500 (4 days ago)
  • Basic dinner out in neighborhood pub, dinner for two in Port Elizabeth costs R 300 (4 days ago)
  • Short visit to private doctor in Port Elizabeth costs R 500 (4 days ago)
  • Public transport in Port Elizabeth costs R 500 (4 days ago)
  • 1 liter of gasoline in Port Elizabeth costs R 16 (4 days ago)
  • Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new in Port Elizabeth costs R 220,000 (4 days ago)