Cost of living in South Africa

Summary of cost of living in South Africa

  • Family of four estimated monthly costs: R 36,871
  • Single person estimated monthly costs: R 18,495
  • South Africa is the 2nd most expensive country in Africa (2 out of 10)
  • Cost of living in South Africa is cheaper than in 59% of countries in the World (56 out of 95)
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Food
Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district R 101
Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) R 58
500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast R 42
1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk R 15
12 eggs, large R 34
1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes R 21
500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese R 60
1 kg (2 lb.) of apples R 23
1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes R 20
0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket R 17
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality R 87
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 14,980
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal area R 9,360
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flat R 1,232
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive area R 10,670
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in normal area R 6,520
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 1 person in 45 m2 (480 sqft) studio R 810
Internet 8 mbps (1 month) R 619
40” flat screen tv R 4,984
Microwave 800/900 watt (bosch, panasonic, lg, sharp, or equivalent brands) R 1,409
Laundry detergent (3 l. ~ 100 oz.) R 79
Hourly rate for cleaning help R 44
Clothes
1 pair of jeans (levis 501 or similar) R 746
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 1,285
1 pair of men’s leather business shoes R 1,149
Transportation
Volkswagen golf 1.4 tsi 150 cv (or equivalent), with no extras, new R 310,008
1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas R 16
Monthly ticket public transport R 609
Personal Care
Cold medicine for 6 days (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) R 64
1 box of antibiotics (12 doses) R 239
Short visit to private doctor (15 minutes) R 462
1 box of 32 tampons (tampax, ob, ...) R 45
Deodorant, roll-on (50ml ~ 1.5 oz.) R 31
Hair shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml ~ 12 oz.) R 55
4 rolls of toilet paper R 25
Tube of toothpaste R 19
Standard men's haircut in expat area of the city R 122
Entertainment
Basic dinner out for two in neighborhood pub R 343
2 tickets to the movies R 172
2 tickets to the theater (best available seats) R 753
Dinner for two at an italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert R 521
1 cocktail drink in downtown club R 63
Cappuccino in expat area of the city R 30
1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) R 31
Ipad wi-fi 128gb R 7,373
1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) R 1.81
1 month of gym membership in business district R 540
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 Potgietersrus 146
2nd Middelburg, Mpumalanga 115
3rd Carletonville 105
4th Pretoria 104
5th Johannesburg 99
6th Durban 95
7th Orkney 95
8th Cape Town 94
9th Polokwane 89
10th Port Elizabeth 88
11th Richards Bay 85
12th 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:

Prices recently added

  • Monthly rent - 85 m2 furnished accommodation in expensive area in Cape Town costs R 15,000 (about 19 hours ago)
  • Internet 8 mbps, 1 month in Johannesburg costs R 550 (1 day ago)
  • Utilities, monthly for 2 people in 85 m2 in Johannesburg costs R 800 (1 day ago)
  • Monthly rent - 85 m2 furnished accommodation in expensive area in Johannesburg costs R 11,000 (1 day ago)
  • 2 liters of whole fat milk in Johannesburg costs R 13 (1 day ago)
  • Combo meal in fast food restaurant (big mac meal or similar) in Johannesburg costs R 41 (1 day ago)
  • 1 pack of marlboro cigarettes in Port Elizabeth costs R 35 (2 days ago)
  • 1 month of gym membership in business district in Port Elizabeth costs R 450 (2 days ago)
  • 1 min. of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts or plans) in Port Elizabeth costs R 1.20 (2 days ago)
  • 500 ml beer in neighbourhood pub in Port Elizabeth costs R 29 (2 days ago)