The expenses of accommodation, basic utilities, food and other essentials, along with what you’re likely to spend on an average night out at a restaurant, cinema or theatre is listed below. Don’t forget to include income tax when calculating your monthly budget (see ‘Tax’).
Rental and sales costs of apartments and houses in numerous areas are detailed in the ‘Accommodation’ section. To generalize from that information, if you’re looking for family-size accommodation in central Cape Town you can expect to spend:
- Between R7000 and R13000 for a decent 3-bedroom pad.
- Water is often charged at a flat rate in apartment blocks. The typical levy is between R100 for a bachelor flat and as much as R300 or R400 for a 3-bedroom place. This is similar to what you can expect to pay if living in a free-standing house, assuming you don’t own a rim-flow pool or other such large-scale, water-consuming feature.
- The average monthly tally for electricity in a two or three bedroom house is typically between R300 and R600.
Thus you’d be sensible to budget for a monthly utilities bill of R700 to R1200. You can, however, cut back on this number quite drastically with a few smart consumer choices – by bathing instead of showering, using light-saver bulbs, and making only sparing use of your heating systems, you can reasonably expect to reduce it by as much as half.
Below is a price list of a few basic food items. All prices are taken from Pick ‘n’ Pay’s online shopping portal, http://www.pnponline.co.za.
- Milk: 1 litre full cream: R8.99
- Bread: 700g Sasko brown sandwich loaf: R7.29
- Rice: 1kg PNP parboiled large grain rice R11.99
- Potatoes: 2kg PNP No Name potatoes: R17
- Eggs: 6 pack PNP organic mixed size eggs: R9.99
- Fish: 1kg PNP hake whole: R59.99
- Green beans: 500g organic frozen green beans: R13:99
- Bananas: 1.5kg PNP bulk value bag of bananas: R16.99
- Apples: 1kg PNP small and sweet granny smith apples:R7.99
- Instant coffee: 200g Nestle Nescafe mild: R48.99
- Broccoli: 400g PNP neopolitan broccoli: R15.99
- Instant Coffee: Nestle Nescafe Classic Mild 200 Gr : R48.99
- Tinned apricots: 410g PNP apricot halves: R11.99
- Tomatoes: 1kg PNP No Name tomatoes: R8.00
- Beef: 1kg PNP butchery steakhouse beef sausage: R53.95
Transport (Public and Private)
Listed below are the costs of various forms of public transport in Cape Town. Averages for the taxi and cab prices are for trips in and around the City Bowl area. Averages for train and bus passes are calculated for Cape Town to Muizenberg.
- Minibus Taxi Ride: R5.00
- Metered Cab Ride (Cabnet): R30.00
- Train Pass: R27 weekly, R90 monthly
- Bus Pass: R77.50 weekly, R341 monthly
- The cost of petrol is current R8.05 per liter.
- Cinema ticket: R30 – R48
- Opera or ballet ticket: R150 – R350
- Meal for two in an upmarket restaurant: R250 – R300
- Meal for four in a family restaurant: R150 – R250
- Gym membership: R350-R500 a month
- Digital Satellite Television (DSTV): This costs R520 for initial set-up, followed by R499 a month for the premium 80+ channel bouquet.
- Home Internet: Neotel’s NeoFlex package, which offers the most competitive rates, provides an estimated speed of 3.2 Mbps, and is capped at 10GB a month. It costs R699. Cheaper options start at around R300, but are generally too slow to be worth the hassle.
- DSL line installation costs around R500.
- Landline telephone: Installation costs around R600, with a further cost of R100 per month to keep the line operational. Neotel’s billing is described as true per-second billing, beginning from the first second onwards. It works out to about 34 cents per minute for local landline calls during peak hours, and 17 cents for off-peak calls.
- Cell Phone: Handsets can be purchased from as little as R200 (as is the case with the current bottom-of-the-range Vodaphone), less if you’re willing to buy a secondhand phone. Following this, SIM starter packages can be purchased for virtually nothing – as little as R1 will have you up and running with Vodacom, and airtime top-up vouchers start at R5.00. This will get you between two and five minutes of talk-time depending on the time of the call and which network you’re calling to.
- Housekeepers: 1 hour: R13-R27 (calculated from an average 09:00-17:00 day rate of R110 – R200)
- Babysitting: 1 hour: R45-R60 if hired through an agency. As little as R20 if hired informally.
- Dry cleaning: 1 shirt: R30 – R50
- R5000 and up per year for high schools (the best private schools cost as much as R65 000).
- R3000 to R4000 for pre-primary schools and crèches