Cost of living: Cape Town vs Joburg

There tends to be a lot of debate when it comes to the question of where is more expensive to live: Cape Town or Johannesburg. Numeo has released a data report comparing the costs of human needs such as food, rent and transport in each city to shine some light on this.

The reality is that each city has some aspects of living that are more expensive than the other, and some that are cheaper.

When it comes to eating out, on average if you’re going to treat yourself to a meal at a higher-end or fine-dining restaurant, you’re going to pay more when doing it in Cape Town.

Interestingly enough, however, it will cost you more to go to an inexpensive restaurant in Johannesburg than in Cape Town.

As far as running to the grocery store to grab your necessities, certain items that are more on the natural side, such as apples, onions and milk will cost you more in Johannesburg, whereas beer, bread, rice, eggs, and meats will cost you more in Cape Town. If you’re a smoker you’ll pay an average of R5 more for cigarettes in the City of Gold than in the Mother City.

When it comes to transport, Cape Town wins hands-down, offering sometimes up to 50% cheaper options on average.

One thing that Johannesburg certainly knocks out of the park is lower monthly rental expenses. Cape Town is almost 70% more pricey when it comes to renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city and 73% more expensive when it comes to renting a three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre.

Even one-bedroom apartments outside of the city centre cost Cape Town residents 28% more than they cost Johannesburg locals.

You can expect to pay 158% more for buying a city-centre apartment in Cape Town and almost 80% more for one outside of the CBD.

Luckily for locals, Cape Town has recently overtaken the City of Gold when it comes to income, with Capetonians earning an average of 2.34% more than Jo’burgers each month for similar positions.

Overall, the cost of living in Cape Town is higher than it is in Johannesburg. To live a comfortable life while renting in Cape Town, you need to earn roughly R38 213 a month, while the same standard of live in Johannesburg will cost you R35 000.

The cost of rent in Cape Town is probably the biggest deal breaker here, but with all the beauty around us and our general high standard of life, we can’t complain too much, although we sometimes like to.

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