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Living Expenses South Africa

South Africa offers a great opportunity for foreigners who are thinking of moving from Europe to Africa. There are two major cities that offer great opportunities – Johannesburg the city of Gold and sunny Cape Town, the mother city. Below is a table to help you make an informed decision, on your move, rental costs, food, tax and pension fund.

Cost of living South Africa: Rental cost

Rental prices in South Africa depend on the neighbourhood you decide to stay in. Below I have put some rentals for both cities and rentals in the CBD (central Business District) and areas near and around.

Cape Town in ZAR per month Johannesburg in ZAR per month
Type Rental Type Rental
Share house 1,800 – 3,000 Share house 2,000 – 4,000
Studio 3,000 – 6,000 Studio 3,000 – 5,000
One bedroom flat 3,000 – 7,500 One bedroom flat 4,000 – 8,500
Two bedroom flat 4,000 – 11,000 Two bedroom flat 5,000 -12,000


Cost of living South Africa: Food prices

The below prices on food, eating out and groceries are supposed to give you an indication on how much living costs are in South Africa.

Meal in restaurant From 65
Mcdonalds (fast food) From 21
Beer R10 – R18
Cigarettes R20 for a 10 pack and R30 for a 20 pack
Bread R9
Milk R6
Bread spread R12
5 chicken pieces R20
Beef R35 per kg
Cooking oil R30
Potatoes R5
Bath soap R7
Tooth paste R8


Cost of living South Africa: Tax

The table below is there to give you an indication on income tax payments in South Africa. Please remember these are estimates. Deductions will vary with each employer as other employers will deduct other things like Medical insurance and Provident Fund (pension). UIF (unemployment insurance fund) is charged at 1% of your salary and is Capped at R148.72 so if you get a salary of anything above R15,000.00 – R1,000,000.00 your UIF will remain R148.72

Cost to company Tax deductions
R6000 R75
R8000 R434
R10000 R793
R12000 R1154
R14000 R1527
R16000 R2026
R18000 R2526
R20000 R3027