Pretoria South Africa
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Cost of Living in Pretoria, South Africa

Cost of Living in Pretoria: the Cost of living in South Africa. South Africa is the cheapest country to live in according to the world's most trusted survey.

According to the Mercer's 2009 Cost of Living survey:
Tokyo is the most expensive city for expatriates; Johannesburg is the cheapest. Yes, there it is in black and white. Pretoria is Johannesburg's neighbour and even cheaper than Johannesburg. This makes Pretoria's lifestyle a great value for money.

"Mercer's survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world's most comprehensive cost of living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowances for their expatriate employees."

The most expensive cities are in the Europe and Asia Pacific with Tokyo, Japan (1st); Osaka, Japan (2nd); Moscow, Russia (3rd); Geneva, Switzerland (4th) and Hong Kong, Hong Kong (5th). Living in Pretoria, South Africa definitely offers a lot of financial benefits. Establishing the cost of living in Pretoria, South Africa by looking at the common daily expenses, we can draw the following sample:

Dinning Out

Dining out can cost one couple from R200. Like anywhere else, home prepared meals are cheaper that eating out. The quality of the food is also on par with that found in developed countries. You will pay slightly more for the organic food stuffs and at the specialized health restaurants.

Nannies/ Domestic Help

Having an affordable nanny is one of the benefits which make the cost of living in Pretoria, South Africa almost insignificant. There are however strict labour laws with nannies and domestic workers getting a government set minimum wage rate. However the minimum wage rate is still below R2000 and you can easily get good housekeeping help for that much.

Home Rental

Housing costs are also lower than those of major cities in the world. A secured bachelor apartment in a gated community can cost anything from R2800 and a two bedroom townhouse R5000 with luxury homes in the gated estates costing about R30 000 per month. You may get smaller houses within the estates for much less rental per month. Here is a sample of expat rental homes in South Africa...


This is probably the most contributing factor to the cost of living in Pretoria, South Africa. An average family owns at least one car as public transport is a bit of a challenge. Car prices are similar to those of developed countries.

Gas , Water and Garbage

SA electricity may go up soon. There are still debates around that. But even with the 50% increase, SA electricity will remain among the cheapest in the world. I would budget R500 per month for a family of 4. I was actually never billed R400 even in winter and I have a family of 4 and I use electricity exclusively.

Water and Garbage collection are usually included in the rental if you live in gated communities. Sometimes, garden maintenance is also included.


Groceries will depend on your lifestyle obviously. But having travelled extensively and lived in other parts of Africa, food prices are very competitive. R3000/m can more than cover your monthly food budget. You may then budget for beverages separately.

Internet and TV

SA internet is amongst the most expensive internet in the developing world. You may choose to use wireless or a cable. TV licence and DSTP (Pay TV) is less than R300/ year and R500/month respectively.


Most South Africans use mobile phones and no land lines. The cell phone rates vary from prepaid, which is more expensive to 24 months contracts which come in cheaper packages. One can budget up to R500/month for a good business contract which comes with up to 300 free minutes for national usage. International calls are quite pricey, but I think SKYPE and other social media help.


Everything is inclusive of VAT. From food to electronics.


Only South African Rands and debit or credit cards are accepted in supermarkets, restaurants and everywhere. Opening an SA Bank account may help. Exchange rates are really favourable if you come from the West. The Rand can weaken up to above 1:10 compared to a US Dollar.


Clothing is also relatively inexpensive. This excludes the imported designer labels. Most South Africans are very materialistic when it comes to clothes and individuals spend more than R1000 on clothing per month. Most middle class families spend a lot more per month. A household of four can easily spend a mere R500 per month on clothing if they buy locally manufactured clothes.

Children Expenses

SA has high quality education offered by private schools. They are obviously more expensive than public schools. For International and private schools one can budget anything from R3000/month. You may be able to get this information from individual schools’ websites.

Cost of living in Pretoria, South Africa is generally lower than most cities in the same level of development. Most middle income families afford the luxurious lifestyle, luxury German cars, best houses with up market finishes and a holiday home.
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That's what we think is important when it comes to the cost of living in Pretoria, South Africa. More questions on expat life in South Africa, Pretoria.

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