The cheapest cities to live and work in South Africa

Online job aggregator Adzuna has published on a new analysis which ranks South Africa’s cities on earnings, job opportunities per person, average house prices and rental figures.

The analysis is based on over 140,000 job vacancies on the Adzuna website as well as additional data from property24 and statistics South Africa.

Johannesburg was crowned as the best place to live in South Africa based on the availability of job opportunities, average salary and house price affordability.

Since the average renter only spends about 19% on rent annually, Joburg is also a favourite among renters that are looking to buy into the best value for their money, Adzuna said.

“Johannesburg came in as one of the best places again this year, scoring points in all the right departments,” said Adzuna country manager Jesse Green.

“Obviously, these results can be tied back to the abundance of jobs on offer in the country’s economic capital. Even though cities like Polokwane and P.E are some of the most affordable for renters, higher salary offerings in major cities make destinations like Pretoria equally as affordable.”

Rank City Average house price Average annual salary Average annual rent Annual salary spent on rent (%)
1 Johannesburg R2 270 915 R420 006 R84 000 19%
2 Pretoria R2 556 558 R367 284 R72 000 19%
3 Durban R3 102 022 R384 834 R61 200 15%
4 Cape Town R5 755 317 R410 781 R108 000 26%
5 Sandton R4 446 692 R365 988 R102 000 27%
6 Centurion R2 282 869 R403 125 R74 400 18%
7 East London R1 100 000 R369 616 R54 000 14%
8 Port Elizabeth R1 100 000 R362 283 R50 400 13%
9 Polokwane R1 050 000 R481 800 R48 000 9%
10 Richards Bay R2 163 640 R432 096 R62 400 14%

While Johannesburg ranked highly in a number of areas, Adzuna’s data shows that the best value city for renters in South Africa is Polokwane.

Employees in the city spend a mere 9% of their annual salaries on rent, but the low rental figures here have a serious flip side: crippling figures of available job opportunities.

Even though Polokwane has low rental and house purchase prices, there are roughly 446 people per job in the area based on Adzuna listings)

Polokwane’s results may also be affected by the mining and technical industries in the area, with higher than average salaries posted online.


Read: This is the average salary in South Africa right now

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The cheapest cities to live and work in South Africa