Cape Town vs Joburg vs Pretoria vs Durban: Comparing living costs

cost of living south africa citiesCape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban are South Africa’s largest cities.

These four cities are also the most popular with foreign nationals looking to settle in South Africa. Especially Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Seeing as this is the case, we decided to compare living costs between the cities.

After all, determining if you’ll be able to afford to live in your city of choice is a huge part of immigration research.

Our comparison covers the costs of:

  • Rent;
  • Utilities;
  • Groceries;
  • Getting around;
  • Entertainment; and
  • Childcare.

Of course salaries is an important piece of the puzzle, because you’ll need to know how your expenses relate to your income. This is why we start by sharing the average annual salary of each city.

Please note: All costs are quoted in South African rands.


Payscale is an organization that provides information about salaries, benefits and compensation. According to them, the current annual average salaries for South Africa’s four main cities are:

south african salaries

Now let’s see how far you’ll have to stretch those rands.

Monthly expenses

When considering monthly expenses, we looked at the basics – rent, utilities and groceries.


south african rent

Here’s how much utilities are likely to cost you each month:


south african Groceries

Getting around

While most people immigrating to South Africa choose to use a car as their main mode of transport, we still included the cost of public transport to give you a full picture of local transport costs.


Life can’t be all work, sometimes we have to play too. Here’s what it’ll cost to eat out and work out:

south african Entertainment


If you’re emigrating with your family, you’ll have to add school costs to your monthly expenses.

south african Childcare

If there are any other costs you’re curious about, such as clothing, head on over to Numbeo. All of the costs above were taken from Numbeo and valid as at March 2019.

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