Detailed Cost of Living in South Africa (2023/2024)

How Much Money Do You Need To Live Comfortably In Sa?

When you think of South Africa, what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind is the country’s rich and varied culture. South Africa is home to a proud and industrious people with a rich history. When you consider the cost of living in South Africa, however, you probably aren’t thinking about that.

You’re probably thinking about the cost of housing, food, utilities, and other basic staples that we all need to survive. While there are few countries in the world that are as diverse and unique as South Africa, there are also few countries in the world that have such drastic costs of living, As with any country.

A cost of living comparison between South Africa and the United States was done in 2011 by Mercer. The comparison takes into account the consumer price index, which measures the purchasing power of a currency, and the cost of living index, which compares the cost of living between countries. The result of the comparison shows that the cost of living in South Africa is 19.4% cheaper than in the United States.

The cost of living in South Africa is not cheap. While it is almost the same cost of living as the United States, the exchange rate has to be taken into account. This means that some goods and services are a lot more expensive than one would expect.

If you are planning on moving to South Africa, it is important to understand what you should expect in terms of the cost of living. South Africa is a wonderful country, but it’s also expensive. Most foreigners live in Gauteng and Western Cape, and you should have an idea of the cost of living there. The purpose of this article is to give you an idea of the cost of living in South Africa.



Renting a house or having an apartment to call your own is the first thing in people’s lives. This can be a very long and stressful process, as you will be trying to fix yourself at all costs. The best thing is to do research well, so you can know what you’re going into.

Almost everything has been made easy, as the law now protects the rights of tenants in the well-detailed form of The Rental Housing Act, which controls and checks the relationship between landlords and their tenants. The law also protects the tenants in case they are being inhumanly treated by their landlords. This is known as the Rental Housing Tribunal.

Here are some of the most important things that tenants need to have in mind when renting a home in South Africa.

  • Non-payment of Rent

This happens when the landlord starts acting funny (some landlords can be very annoying), probably breaching the agreement you both had. Not paying the rent shouldn’t be what you should resort to. You should sit with the landlord and talk about it.

  • Know what maintenance is your responsibility

You really have to be sure about this. You must be at the house to check everything in there, so as not to start fixing or paying for what has been damaged before you packed in. When it comes to maintenance and repairs in the house, it is very important to know what your responsibilities are. You must always keep everywhere clean and safe.

  • Ask for a Written Agreement

You must ask for a written agreement that clearly points out all the terms and conditions as well as the rights and responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord, so as to avoid future crises. You can then proceed to make payments after this.

Average Cost of a House

Renting a house can be very expensive and exorbitant in South Africa, especially in large cities of the country. Rand (ZAR) is another factor to be considered, as it rises and falls. To an extent, It’s now cheaper than it was for foreign currency buyers to purchase homes in South Africa. Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) ranges from R15,000 to R30,000, depending on the specific area, the amenities offered, and the quality of the accommodation.

Average Cost of Food

Below is the average cost of food in South Africa. FoodBasic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district costs R140. A combo meal in a fast food restaurant costs between R50 and R80. 500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast costs R51. 1 liter of whole-fat milk costs R18. 12 large eggs cost R55.

Average Cost of Transportation

A New Volkswagen Golf 1.4 tsi 150 cvs (or equivalent), with no extras, costs between R461,700 and R399,660. 1 liter (1/4 gallon) of gas costs R24. The monthly ticket for public transport costs varies depending on the city and the mode of transport. However, here are some examples:


Gautrain: R1,122 – R2,880
MyCiTi: R840 – R1,680
Golden Arrow Bus Services: R770 – R1,540
Metrobus: R600 – R1,200

Clothing Prices

Clothing is quite expensive in South Africa. A pair of jeans in South Africa costs between R300 and R1,000. For a summer designer dress like Zara, you can expect to pay anywhere from R500 to R2000. You can expect to pay anywhere from R500 to R2000 for a pair of good quality leather business shoes. For a pair of designer sports shoes like Nike, Adidas, or Fendi, you can expect to pay between R1,500 and R3,000. A pair of men’s leather business shoes cost about R1,178.

Entertainment Prices

Entertainment prices in South Africa on average cost R100 – R500 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to tourist attractions, museums, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses. A basic dinner out for two in the neighborhood pub ranges from R300 – R500. Tickets to see movies cost between R80 and R120. Tickets to the theatre for the best available seats cost between R200 and R500. Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the ex-pat area including appetizers, main course, wine, and dessert costs approximately R700 to R1000 per person. A cocktail drink in a downtown club costs between R100 and R200. Cappuccino in the ex-pat area of the city costs around R30 – R40. Beer in a neighborhood pub costs about R36.

Average Cost of Utilities

According to Numbeo, utility bills cost around R1,200 per month. Utility costs cover water, electricity, heating, detergent, laundry, gas, and waste disposal. Broadband and television costs are comparable to most European countries. Basic broadband packages in South Africa start at around R299 per month but can be as much as R1,500.


And there you have the lowdown on the nitty-gritty of living costs in South Africa! From daily essentials to the occasional treat-yourself moments, we’ve covered it all. Now that you’re armed with the details, you can confidently plan your budget and embrace the vibrant South African lifestyle. S

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