Cost of living in Cape Town
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 are 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 R22,000 and R30,000 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 R1000 and R1500.
Thus you’d be sensible to budget for a monthly utility bill of 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.
- Milk: 1-litre full cream: R14.99
- Bread: 700g Sasko brown sandwich loaf: R14.00
- Rice: 1kg PNP parboiled large grain rice R22.00
- Potatoes: 2kg PNP No Name potatoes: R20
- Eggs: 6 pack PNP organic mixed size eggs: R16.00
- Fish: 1kg PNP hake whole: R80.00
- Green beans: 500g organic frozen green beans: R13:99
- Bananas: 1.5kg PNP bulk value bag of bananas: R23.00
- Apples: 1kg PNP small and sweet granny smith apples:R24.00
- Instant coffee: 200g Nestle Nescafe mild: R80.00
- Tomatoes: 1kg PNP No Name tomatoes: R22.00
- Beef: 1kg PNP butchery steakhouse beef sausage: R110.95
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: R20.00
- Metered Cab Ride (Cabnet): R50.00
- Monthly Pass: R27 weekly, R525.00 monthly
- The cost of petrol is R15.00 per liter.
- Cinema ticket: R50 – R70
- Opera or ballet ticket: R200 – R450
- Meal for two in an upmarket restaurant: R450 – R700
- Meal for four in a family restaurant: R300 – R450
- 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