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South Africa is the cheapest country in the world to live

South Africa is the cheapest country in the world to live

South Africa is ranked as the cheapest country in the world to live and retire, according to a new report, citing dollar strength against many global currencies.

GoBankingRates ranked 112 nations by four key affordability metrics provided by online pricing database Numbeo.

  • Local purchasing power index: Measures the relative purchasing power of a typical salary in that country, compared to New York City. A lower purchasing power buys fewer goods, while a higher purchasing power buys more.
  • Rent index: Compares typical rental prices in the country to New York City.
  • Groceries index: Compares typical grocery prices in the country to New York City.
  • Consumer price index: Compares costs of local goods and services — including restaurants, groceries, transportation and utilities — to New York City.

The report compared prices with those in New York and said of South Africa:

  • Local purchasing power is 26.9% higher
  • Rent is 87.5% cheaper
  • Groceries are 71% cheaper
  • Local goods and services are 65.8% cheaper

“South Africa is the cheapest country to live or retire. It’s also the world’s largest producer of platinum, gold and chromium, which goes far to enrich the country and its economy.

“This resulted in a local purchasing power that’s significantly higher than what New Yorkers face, which is the most favorable factor that puts South Africa at No. 1,” GoBanking Rates said.

It said that along with a higher local purchasing power, South Africa also offers lower prices on consumer goods and groceries, and rent costs that are typical of the 50 cheapest countries.

In the major city of Cape Town, for instance, monthly expenses total just under $400 while the average rent costs are reflected by the typical price to rent a one-bedroom in Durban of around $280 a month, the report said.

The second cheapest country, India has a local purchasing power of 20.9% lower than New York, while rent is 95.2% cheaper, groceries are 74.4% cheaper, and local goods and services are 74.9% cheaper.

Read: This is what R100 buys you around the world

Elsewhere in Africa, Zambia is sixth, Algeria (25th), Tunisia (34th), Egypt (43rd), Morocco (46th), Namibia (53rd), Kenya (79th), Ghana (108th).

Top 10 cheapest countries to live and retire

  1. South Africa
  2. India
  3. Kosovo
  4. Saudi Arabia
  5. Kazakhstan
  6. Zambia
  7. Oman
  8. Paraguay
  9. Czech Republic
  10. Macedonia

More on South Africa

South Africa is on sale for half price – why isn’t anyone buying?

Weak rand bites the rich as South Africans flee the country

What South Africans think about the economy

Where South Africa’s richest people are moving to


BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
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  • That’s if you earn a salary in dollars. . .If you earn a average of $5000 then yes things are cheapish. . .but unfortunately with your average south african salary, that $280 will take up all your money or half of it. . . .so that $5000 is the equivalent of earning +-R60,000 here in South africa. . .

    So this is all just bullshit unless you earn your salary in dollars. . .

    • Joseph

      agree 100%

    • john speck

      Support u totally.the writer shud get the idiots guide to ecomonics then
      he can use the big mac index….then walla we are the most expesive countryn to live.How can idiots like this write crap like this and get pad for it?

    • Jon Low

      “Local purchasing power index: Measures the relative purchasing power of a typical salary…”

    • Q Anthonie Burger

      Was just going to say the same thing. The report is based around someone who earns in dollars not taking into account our comparatively low salaries.

    • Thanduxolo Mabaso

      Wrong. The very first thing that is addressed is local purchasing power. It found that SA had 26% more purchasing power than a new yorker

      • Gareth Runnalls

        Also, the article specifically mentions “Cheapest to live and retire”… not earn a salary in.

      • Really pls explain how we have more purchasing power. . .The average salary for SA is below R5000. . .but for argument sake let’s say you earn between 5 – 10,000. . .now rent for a house or flat alone would take either your entire salary or half of it. . .rent being between 3-5000. . .which is about average (for a smallish place that is, a decent 3 bedroom can go from 7 – 10,000). . .now the average salary is the US is around $5000. . .now if they were to rent a flat or house it would be around 6 – 900 dollars. . 3 bedroom can go up to $1500 . . .which surprise surprise doesn’t even take up a portion of the salary. . .

        So how in hell does our salary give us greater purchasing power. . .pls explain it to me in detail. . .

        • Thanduxolo Mabaso

          Your assumption that it costs 3 to 5000 rand to rent a place to live is completely off. I live in the township and I’m renting an entire 3 bedroom house for 2400.

          So if you remember that most South Africans do not live in the Suburbs you’ll understand why we have more purchasing power.

          • It’s still doesn’t makes sense. . .or are you just bad at maths. . .If our average salary is below 5000 then that 2400 you so proud of still takes half of your salary. . .so even then we still have less purchasing power. . .

            Do you want to take it further! We can go to the price of cars next, electrical goods, hell even toys in our country cost more. . .

            Like let’s give you another example. . .my sister likes Pokemon, so I normally buy the Pokemon cards for her. . .now in our country it costs R2200 for a full box of booster cards. . .now even if you are earning R20,000 you could still only buy 8 boxes. . .
            Now in the US, that very same box only cost $99. . .so even if you are young and only just started working, you’d be earning $3000. . .so they would be able to buy 30 boxes. . .

            So how the hell is our country cheaper. . .pls go on and keep explaining it. . .

          • Thanduxolo Mabaso

            Yes 2400 does take up almost half of 5000 and yet that is for a complete house. For a bachelors it is 700 – 1000 rand. I just did a search and in the New York the cheapest one bedroom Apartments are $1350.

            In any event if you don’t believe the article you can link to the study to get the actual methodology and further evidence.

          • Exactly now look up how much most ppl earn in new York. . . $5000 is on the low end of the average. . .so compare the price of a 1 bedroom in Sandton. . .because New York is an expensive place to live so don’t try and compare your location to new York, compare it to another expensive place to live. . .and you’d still get the same answer. . .why do you think so many ppl here are saying the same thing and the reason I got all the thumbs up. . . .really if you that blind, then seriously here is nothing I can say to convince you and won’t even try

          • Thanduxolo Mabaso

            You’re so funny. You’re really think the thumbs up you’re getting are worth more than people who actually took the time to do research? The fact of the matter is the research was done and this is what it has revealed. Read the study if you think they might have done something wrong – there is a link to it in this article.

          • Yes because comparing Soweto or some other township to New York just makes so much sense hey. . .hmmm clever clever boy you must be so proud of yourself for thinking up that one. . .

          • Thanduxolo Mabaso

            Again, read the study – and if you think you know more than the people who conducted the study, you are welcome to let them know. FYI I just checked another site (not related to this study) and they again confirmed the cost of living in Johannesburg to be lower than in New York. So you are welcome to be the most intelligent person who knows more than people who actually take time to gather evidence.

          • I’m not going to bother providing a answer to that. . .believe what you will. . .

          • ian shaw

            Thanduxolo, I used to live in the US and you should know that NewYork was and still is expensive even for Americans. Unfortunately most people don’t know any typical Midwestern towns in the US where prices are considerably cheaper.

          • Nofearorfavor

            Jay, you have to consider that the research is reflective of the whole SA population, hence Thanduxolo has a point, that in fact it is not skewed.

          • By comparing those two locations it is already skewed. . .it’s like comparing a apple to a orange. . .or Soweto to Sandton. . .New York is one of the most expensive places to live in the US. . .how can you compare it to the cheapest in south africa. . .

            Then they may as well say that well in New York it’s $1500 for rent, but other places in the US its as low as $200. . .BUT they do not. . . .so how does that even make sense.

            And regardless of which. . .We still do not have more purchasing power as with our average salary we couldn’t even live in Sandton. . .but with the lowest US average for the young you can live in a place like New York.

          • Nofearorfavor

            Yes, I re-read the article and you are right — he actually did not present it correctly and its is very confusing, as it is now. If he had taken the combined populations of the 4 main cities of SA, including all their wide spread, shall I call it districts, he’d probably have arrived close to the approximate 8.5million population NYC comprised with the 2010 census. But I think this original research was done very much for US consumption, as people pulling out of the US, have increased sharply in the last few years. He then would have had to break down the COL in each of our cities and then added the individual category breakdowns of all 4 cities’ COL together and divided each category by 4 to arrive at a mean average. That would have meant included average rental applicable to each district or city, forming part of Johannesburg’s surrounds. In other words, he should have balanced it all out — same applied to NYC as the most expensive in the world.
            So maybe he presented it to us, just to tell us how lucky we are, when in fact, we are not. If he stuck to what a salary, of say of $5K per month can buy you in NYC and took R5K and what it could buy you in our 4 main cities (calculated on the average he’d arrived at), it would have been far clearer and more realistic.

          • Yip, and that’s what everyone in the comments are saying. . .
            It’s probably meant for someone who earns in dollars then lives and or retired in South Africa. . .

            I’ve been to the states on a number of occasions. . .plus as I’m sure that there are a lot of ppl on here that have ordered things from the states. . .Their salary, and what you can buy with it are far FAR greater then ours. . .

            That $5000 is the equivalent of earning R60,000 in our country.

          • Nofearorfavor

            Maybe this article was published to restore the fast waning international confidence in SA, or maybe the migration agencies are being flooded after the Dec saga delivered ‘courtesy’ of the president? The thing is today, its not only whites leaving, increasingly black professionals and technicians, are too.

            Nay, the writing is on the wall and if our government does not get stuck in and use in the face avenues open and ready to use, to get SA back on track, God help us all, because then, becoming another failed state is what we’re coming to, for sure.

          • Yip, including thousands of millionaires leaving our country as well. . .

            And quite right, if something isn’t done about this, and done right now. . .then this country will fall

          • Nofearorfavor

            Classic repeat of Nero fiddling while Rome was burning — in this case Zuma fiddling while South Africa is burning…

          • ian shaw

            Instead of New York, which is expensive even for Amercians, why not compare prices to an average Midwestern town like Dayton, Ohio?

          • Christa Chrissie Brandkamp

            Yeah, but you can’t compare New York prices to Township prices! New York is expensive, like London or Sandton or any of the big Cities… In Randburg I paid R8500 for a 3 bed house…
            Now I am in Spain, I pay €350 for a 3 bed house… that’s less than I paid in SA!
            In fact it is cheaper for me to commute to England to work, than it would be for me to rent a room in London! I am guessing New York rent is just as extreme!
            Sure, if you come with $you can obviously live a bit better in SA than you would in NY…

      • pws69

        Thanduxolo, I think the point is they are comparing the most expensive with an average.

        A more accurate survey would be comparing averages with averages.

        For example, if you could only buy a Ferrari in JHB, and you could only buy a Tata in London, then according to this methodology, London would by far be the cheapest place to buy a car.

  • Jon Low

    “It’s also the world’s largest producer of platinum, gold and chromium, which goes far to enrich the country and its economy.”

    SA isn’t the largest producer of gold. In fact, it’s only the sixth-largest producer these days. If the authors of this report get such basic facts wrong, one must question all their other metrics.

    • Wayne Kitching

      It also completely ignores the crisis the mining sector is currently facing.

    • john speck

      Bullssss and they get paid for it

    • Jaco

      Ahem, helloooo, South Africa is not a producer of those minerals. Private companies take the minerals out of the ground and it doesn’t belong to “us” anymore. We don’t own anything in this country any more. It is all sold off already.

      • Nofearorfavor

        Yes, internationalists continue robbing us blind of what belongs to the nation and if the revenue from it had remained here, could have been applied to uplift our shocking standards of education, serving to eradicate the monstrous unskilled gap continuing to exist within our country and resulting in an increasingly fair and equal society. That is if we’d had a government committed to its people ….

    • Fanandala

      Definitely not the largest gold producer any more. Apparently we are no 7 now.

  • James Dean

    I’d rather pay more and live in a safe country.

    • VenzaFree


      • Lone Stranger

        Please don’t play coy Venza. You know as good as anyone how unsafe this country is. The people in townships live in fear everyday.

        Edit : Actually all walk of life in SA live in fear.

        • Nah only the people in Cape Town.

          • bengine


          • Lone Stranger

            In my opinion, I think that those stats are bloated out of proportion for propaganda sake against the DA. I might be wrong, but Joburg feels much more dangerous than Cape Town.

          • Wayne Kitching

            The gangsterism in the Cape Flats distort Cape Town’s murder rate. So unless you are in a gang, live on the Cape Flats, or are a young Indian bride with a gay husband, you are probably safer than in Joburg.

          • Visionary

            “young Indian bride with a gay husband” Hahahaha good one

          • Ditto.

          • LBS

            On holiday… using a taxi….

          • maxc

            Why do we try and blame oppositions, when facts are facts. These sort of stats are by bodies not controlled by local government at all. Fact is, Cape Town is the most dangerous place in SA, regardless of what the local DA government claim. Now we can start debating who it affects..etc…because all the middle to high income areas are well covered by the local government funding to ensure they are kept safe, where as the Cape Flats violence is not being addressed at all. So while you say, it only affects you if you are a gangster – This shows a great flaw in the DA’s ability to address crime in the poorer areas, and only ensuring that the “richer” portion of the population are kept safe. Without debating who is worse (i.e ANC vs DA), the facts speak for themselves, the DA does only address issues faced by middle to higher income groups, Fact.

          • Jon Low

            The violent crime is overwhelmingly confined to Nyanga and Khayelitsha townships and also to the Cape Flats ganglands. Suburbia is really quite safe.

          • Nextlevel

            no, people being robbed at gunpoint every day in cape town suburbia

          • Jon Low

            Most suburbanites will live out their entire lives without ever being held up at gunpoint or even witnessing someone else being thus accosted. These are rare exceptions.

          • Nextlevel

            I dare your wife to take a walk on her own in Oranjezight or Vredehoek in the morning

          • LBS

            NOT! The DA asked years ago already that the Government allow the army to go in and clear things up. They refused! That is what is needed in a gang festered area. We are not talking rich or poor, we are talking Gangsterism.

          • LBS

            Hear hear, you hit the nail on the head!

          • Silver King

            You were never around the Cape Town flats. Those areas has been a problem for years. I have been there once over a decade ago. Never felt such murderous intend before or after. And I here it is far worse now. As for the rest of the city it was rather pleasant.

          • MarQ_ZA

            Carry on down that list:

            41: Durban, South Africa – 35.93
            42: Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa – 35.85
            47: Johannesburg, South Africa – 30.31

            So, really – only Capetonians?

            Also, this is the murder rate; what about all other crime?

          • maxc

            These numbers are very far off from the Cape Town figure of 64.27. Trying to make it seem better than it is? Facts, are facts Cape Town’s crime is beyond bad, just look at the difference..CT64 and JHB 30? Come on, the same difference as the South American countries and CT – DO you even realise how bad that 30 point difference is – Do you know how bad crime is in South America? Dude, come on, CT is bad compared to the JHB stats…

          • MarQ_ZA

            True, Cape Town’s murder rate is bad. No argument from me. I’m not trying to brush it off or make it seem better.

            However, are you seriously going to argue that the rest of SA is absolutely A-OK? Need I point out that while Durban, NMB and Jhb’s murder rates are way lower than CT’s, they’re still in the top 50 cities _in the world_?

            We all have more than murder to fear. Is the murder rate an indicator for the rest of the crime stats – i.e., does CT also have the highest number of assaults, hijackings, robberies, etc? I don’t know, but I’m sure that other SA cities don’t have great stats either.

            So, again: is it really only Capetonians who don’t feel safe?

          • LBS

            Cape Town Flats has the gangsters. Jhb more hijackings, robbeies, etc.

          • LBS

            Only on the Cape Flats, which, if the DA gets it’s way, the army will be called in to clean it up and keep guard until all the hooligan Gangsters have given up. But your Government refused to do this. Why? Because they want CT to look “bad”. Try again.
            I live in the Northern suburbs and I assure you, my doors are open during the day and we can have a braai at night without fearing criminals storming our houses.

          • Coy Zan

            The murder rate in Cape Town has consistently been in the top ten for many years. This is a fact. The Cape Flats is part of Cape Town. You can’t say it’s only “over there. Not here”. You can’t bring in the army against the citizens of the country. Not only is it unconstitutional, it’s illegal. Unless you like the looks of Syria, China, or Northern Ireland back in the 80’s. And look where that got them.

          • LBS

            So, Wiseguy, do you have any other suggestions?

          • Coy Zan

            Why yes, I do. The only people who can solve the problem of gangsterism on the Cape Flats are the communities themselves. The communities have to be empowered. There is no short-term solution to this. Gangsters are somebody’s son, brother, uncle etc. Gangsters are part of the fabric of society on the Cape Flats, they don’t live outside of it. This issue is far deeper and a simple solution is almost invariably the wrong one. Until an alternative to gang life is offered to the youth in those areas, we will be talking about this problem in 40 years time.

          • LBS

            I fully agree with you there, but those people do not stand a chance against the drug lords and their gangs. Young children in poor houses are drawn in at a very young age with the promise of money. With poor education, as it is at the moment, they stand no chance.

          • Coy Zan

            The biggest problem imho, is that the real gangsters don’t live in the townships. They live in the leafy suburbs and are connected financially and almost invariably, politically, which makes them almost untouchable, which is why local gangsters can act with such impunity.

          • LBS

            Absolutely, you can see them driving around in Seepunt with their convertibles, but I don’t think the DA are connected to them, no Sir ☺

          • Coy Zan

            Err, I can neither confirm nor deny that the DA is involved..
            I try very hard not to get involved in religious or political discussions because, lets face it, no one’s mind has ever been changed online.

          • LBS

            I respect that, have a great evening, “Wiseguy” ☺ you are indeed a wise man.

          • Coy Zan

            I will take that as compliment. I hope you had a great evening yourself.

          • Coy Zan

            Politics is like a mudbath. No matter how clean you are before you get into it… once you’re in.. you are dirty. Just saying.

          • ian shaw

            This is why some people say that drugs should be legalized.

          • Silver King

            The reported murder rate….

          • LBS


        • Thanduxolo Mabaso

          Not true. I live in the township and do not live in fear. Our gate doesn’t even get locked at night. I’ve been mugged more times while in suburbs than while in the township.

          Don’t speak for us if you don’t know what’s going on

          • Lone Stranger

            That is an interesting opinion I must say. Your views on this is quite racist though. Still have that chip on your shoulder? Go figure.

          • Thanduxolo Mabaso

            How do you figure my views are racist?

          • Lone Stranger

            You talk about “Don’t speak for us if you don’t know what’s going on”. I thought we are now suppose to be equal? What went wrong?

          • Thanduxolo Mabaso

            What you’ve just written here is very confusing. But any who, You said people living in townships live in fear. There are coloured, indian, Somali’s and even white people in the townships.So when I said don’t speak for us I was not mentioning any particular race.

            So it appears you are quite ignorant of the reality on the ground if you think only black people live in townships.

            Like I said the rest of your ANC tirade doesn’t really make any sense to me.

          • Lone Stranger

            I like a good debate and I also like to see other peoples views on stuff. Call it a hobby. I must apologize if I have offended you.

            I must also agree that I was a bit ignorant towards the situation in townships. The fact that there are still a lot of people in townships are actually sad. I can also say with that, that I believe it will not change any time soon.

            The part what I meant about the ANC thing though was that they tend to pin every form of criticism towards them on racism. I was doing the same to prove a point.

            I also assume that you came from such a background? Glad to see you lifter yourself from such a situation.

            Btw, I am a bit off topic here. I was just mad a Venza for being offensive at James Dean’s post. People around the world believe that we can just go back to Europe. It isn’t that easy. My culture was born here, so this country is as much my land as any other South African born citizen. But being taunted to leave, is just a insult to me. For Venza to say “bye” is just idiotic.

          • Thanduxolo Mabaso

            I hear you. But what did you expect when James Dean, and others like him, are constantly talking about how they want to leave the country. In fact, after 1994, many did leave the country who could. How patriotic are such people? Do they really love this country? I would understand it there was some bloody civil war in this country. But there isn’t. This is just a country in transition. Change is never easy but I believe it will be worth it. Constantly whining about how unlike some European country South Africa is does not help anyone. South Africa is not like a European country because for hundreds of years a minority of this country prevented the majority from participating in meaningfully in the economy.

            This was not done in the European countries they laud and long for. So they must get over it. This country needs workers not whiners.

          • ian shaw

            Thanduxolo, I admit to know very little about townships. Equally, you should admit not to know much about Europe. For your information, two world wars, Nazism, Communism, etc have devastated many European countries. The attraction in going back used to be that these countries were able to emerge from these calamities, have conserved their thousand-year old culture, have recovered their economic prosperity, are still in the forefront of science and innovation. Unfortunately some evil forces are trying to forcibly replace this culture with those of foreign migrants who will ultimately destroy European civilization, so that there will be nothing good to go back to.

        • Jobber

          I don’t live in fear at all. Walk, party, drive, socialize at all hours of the day and night without hassle.

    • Guest

      The world’s collapsing, so safe is something of a finite commodity.

  • Veldmeisie

    Cheapest on lives too, R10 or a cellphone, special price.

  • Lone Stranger

    I think this article is very misleading. If you look at it from a foreigner side of things, it will surly look cheaper, but they are compensated by the salaries they receive, by the prices they pay for goods.

    Let me put this into perspective. If a hotel cost + – R 4000.00 per night, which is damn expensive for us, it will cost £180 for people from the UK, which cost as much as 2 plates of food by their side, so obviously it will seem as if everything is cheaper.

    That is why only the rich can go on over see holidays and we can not!

  • straight8

    Again, a foreigner with dollars or pounds to spend, would see it as cheap, but for the sucker earning and spending in rands, this aricle is pure poppycock. I suspect this is lubrication for the hit the consumer is about to receive with the budget announcements.

  • Dub Dub

    Ok let’s factor in the additional fee’s we have to pay over and above standard income tax, Private Security and armed response (as our police force can’t cope), medical aid (government medical care is shocking), private education (the few decent public schools remaining are getting close to charging private school fee’s), private vehicle ownership (public transport is downright dangerous and unreliable, unless of course you live and work right on the Gautrain routes), insurance premiums (let’s face it chances of your stuff going missing or getting damaged in SA is much higher than many other countries)… Factor in these additional costs and compare it to other countries to get a more realistic picture. Yes I’m aware all of the above relates to the middle- and high- income bracket in the country… but still ignoring the above skews the picture a little.

  • MetaltigerSA

    South Africa is the cheapest country in the world to VISIT…corrected

    Gareth Vorster Post:
    I can understand, it reflects an SA income which the value of R100 is taken abroad. Some study has taken place.

    Staff Writer Post (this one):
    You just copied the (bad) data from the GoBankingRates source/journalist, which is even worse journalism from you!

    Best of all, you failed to even notice that if you’re going to live in a country, you get an income source of the country economy you are living in (reality), which we all know SA is one of the worst compared to the rest of the world.

    It’s UNBELIEVABLE that you are even called an Journalist! You have no education or logical thinking.
    If you have any degrees (or even Grade 10), go back to your tutor/s and slap them.

    • MarQ_ZA

      The GoBankingRates “journalist” got their data from a site that relies on volunteer contributions. What could possibly be wrong with this? *cough*

      See my comment above for more.

    • Nick Jackson

      Staff writer = PR / syndicated distributed content. Businesstech just republished this, they didn’t write it.

      • MetaltigerSA

        lol that’s why I said

        “You just copied the (bad) data from the GoBankingRates source/journalist”

        Staff Writer = Idiot

  • CypherGate

    IF this was the cheapest country to live in then why are most SA people struggling to afford the basic of things? We earn in rands. Not pounds, euros or Dollars. If we earned that sort of currency then we can talk again.

  • Nameite

    Cheap to live in if u got a lot of money overseas

  • ToothyGrinn

    South Africa is really cheap to live in…… if you’re American.

    • Jaco

      And even cheaper if you come from the UK.

  • MarQ_ZA

    Here’s the fundamental flaw: all these numbers are based on data entered by volunteer contributors who have visited the Numbeo site. How many people living in informal settlements will have visited it? Let’s look at some numbers on the site:

    Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax): R17,909 — based on a range of R12K to R25K
    Estimate monthly expenses for a single person: R6,413.35

    I think it’s safe to conclude that exactly zero is the answer.

    MyBB “staff writer”: stop using non-expert sources and start questioning the underlying data. Actually, just stop writing articles that involve any sort of data analysis.

  • #TimeForChange

    Because of the weaker Rand, but the advantages will soon be wiped out with higher inflation.

  • Wyzak

    Lives are also the cheapest in South Africa.

  • Gary Fields

    Cheap indeed. Cheap isn’t always good.

  • Broscientist

    Yes if you get paid in US$

  • Dawid Conradie

    The people that wrote this article certainly haven’t been in Vietnam. I currently live in Vietnam and my cost of living, semi luxurious, is roughly between R1500 – R1800 pm. That include 3 meals per day, gas and luxuries. Electricity is R2 per kilowatt unit and water is free. I eat out at restaurants everyday and the average meal costs R17. A loaf of bread is R6 and milk per litre R3, what can you buy for R10 in SA?. The average family of 4 here lives off R2000 per month. I braai every weekend with friends and the total cost with 3 litre beer, 300g steak and extras is R100 per person.

    • Marco

      Yes. I live in Portugal in a coastal city. Costs here are:
      Pork. Bone and fat removed. R22.00 per kilo.
      Fresh whole chicken. R13.40 p kg.
      Potatoes washed medium. R4.70 p kg
      Rent. 2 bed semi furnished. R3 700 pm.

  • Ray Mulder

    Tell that to all the retired pensioners on a government grant and all the poor who can’t afford a loaf of bread because the pay is so bad and the food prices are rising because of the Rand and expensive importing of food products.

    • LBS

      Right so. This article is nothing but propaganda for the ANC.

  • Krait

    Most idiotic article.

  • Tau’ri

    ‘South Africa is ranked as the cheapest country in the world to live and retire’ if you are a foreigner coming in with foreign money. If you’re a local citizen, the correct phrase is ‘sh1!!ing bricks’.

  • Dave Boltman
  • Tau’ri

    “This pre-election article is sponsored by The House of Luthuli, proud supporter of a flavourful government of note.”

  • Jaco

    What a loud of bullshit this is. O.M.G. I can’t believe they take us as idiots…

    • Tau’ri

      It’s only getting started – the closer we get to election time, the worse the nonsense becomes. Thing is, there are people out there who *do* believe the propaganda, and THAT is the scary part.

  • Just another attempt to BS the people…

  • charles

    Can the idiot that wrote this please sit down… Since when does the avg SAfrican earn between 60 and 70k a month? So in US you can buy a car brand new over 2 years, a second hand car you can buy for less than a month’s salary… Is that possible in SA… Using Durban as an example is not very comparative of SA as nobody wants to live in the Nigerian drug kingdom… The avg rent in SA is around $450 and another $100 for electricity and water… Getting to crime… I’m sure I am right when I say that the crime stats in the WC are better registered and that there is no way that the crime in the WC is worse than Soweto or even the East Rand… But anyway… If this load of crap keeps you happy at night be my guest as I have first hand experience that you can do way more $4400 that with R20000… I’m talking 3 full trolleys of groceries, double storey home, 3 cars, 3 children in a good school, participating in weekend events and a one month holiday yearly… That equals earning R67000 a month which I’m sure most of SA doesn’t earn… Good riddens to a useless article with zero investigation… Comparing bananas and apples doesn’t work.. Accepting corrupt crime stats neither…

  • Johan Lewis Last

    Maybe for people that earn dollars. The rich class are shrinking, the middle class is schrinking. The ONLY growth South Africa has had in the last 20 years is the increase in poverty, joblessness, corruption, etc. No positive growth for South Africans what so ever.

  • Alex1Rose

    Show me a bachelor apartment in Tableview for less tha $400?
    I found local prices in Cape Town to be comparable to ASDA in UK, with less choices.
    What the researcher is not considering are the hidden costs if security, insurance, armed response, private pension, private hospital, private vehicle ownership & many other factors that make South Africa as expensive to live in, as UK or USA, if not more expensive.
    False reports like this simply result in international Co’s paying the S.A migrant force (whites) to be paid less than their counterparts & hence diminished opportunity…speaking from experience

  • Berhalet Beukes

    This article, although referring to information provided by GoBankingRates, is absolute rubbish!

  • Rob Charlton

    But the “cheapness” comes at a price. The price is unreliable services, rampant official corruption, poor law enforcement, low public morale, shrinking economy, poor growth prospects, ineffective consumer advocacy, lack of competition, non-existent public emergency health services, ineffective police force, ineffective traffic law enforcement, restricted employment opportunities, intolerance of religious, political and racial differences, inadequate infrastructure development and long-term planning, disjointed government policies and abysmally selfish political leadership.

    • ian shaw

      But the people must love this, otherwise they would not keep voting in those responsible.

  • Ryansr

    The only good thing that can come from this article is if foreigners are reading it and actually come here to settle down using their foreign currency. Hopefully they will spend those dollars of pounds on our SA products and thus give the economy a boost.

    But I think to say that SA is the cheapest country to live in is just wrong especially if your audience is South Africans that are struggling to make ends meet every month with their hard earned salary in Rands.

  • Leslie Boland

    This is a bunch of nonsense and anyone believing this has been very sadly misguided. The author has no idea what they are talking about. A recent visit to SA saw me very happy to know I could return home. I wouldn’t want to live in any of the listed countries anyway – what do they have to offer? You cannot even find a job in SA, especially if your skin is white, so how does that help anyone with plans to move there? Of course these countries are cheap to live in if they have nothing to offer and no future for anyone, unless you are a crooked politician.

  • DumbSA

    They must have done this research just prior to the Rand flunking to all times lows.

  • Jim Landon

    This is the worst case of “cherry-picking” I’ve seen in many a decade !
    New York City is not at all representative of the USA and to very carefully compare prices in NYC to prices in places throughout SA is a bunch of dreck.

  • Oscar Wildebeest

    Many years ago there lived a politician, a Nationalist minister (from somewhere in the Cape Province, Caledon or there about); who stated (unequivocally) that old people can live on R20 per month.

    Himself being a man of size, some of the SAP politicians snidingly remarked that should LAPA Munnik tie a ribbon around his stomach he could easily be mistaken for an easter egg.

    Now, this guy who came up with this statement of South Africa being so cheap reminds me of old LAPA.

  • Fanandala

    I frequently go to Germany and I find that the prices there are not all that much higher than here. Basic food in the supermarkets is often on par with local stuff. But they have also offer high valued foods and goods which are hardly, if at all for sale here, and they cost then a lot.
    Houses and flats are much more expensive, but rentals are actually not all that much more.
    South Africa used to be much cheaper 20 and 40 years ago, but not any more.

  • Lisa

    Which South Africa is this?In what world?This is ridiculous

  • Lisa

    which South Africa is this?Where?My one bedroom apartment costs more than the average SA salary. This is ridiculous

    • Thanduxolo Mabaso

      The one where not everyone lives in the same area you do.

      • Lisa

        That was just an example. Wherever you live, South Africa is not inexpensive, from food costs to travel. I have no idea what these rankings are based on

        • Thanduxolo Mabaso

          They’re based on research. You can get a one bedroom apartment for 700 Rand if you know where to look.

          • Lisa

            I live within walking distance of most places. Where I could walk to my prev office. If i moved far out, id spend over an hour in traffic trying to drive into the area. I also have to think about safety.That’s the problem, we’re forced . You cant live anywhere you like in SA. I don’t hate it and im not being negative. I’m jut saying it isnt cheap.

          • Thanduxolo Mabaso

            Lived for years in the township now. Never once been mugged or had a break in. On the other hand when I still lived at home with my parents, which was in a suburbs, our home was broken into two and they attempted to rob us a third time in broad daylight. I felt very unsafe there.
            In fact the only thing that actually makes the Suburbs somewhat safe is the mountains of security and high walls that exist there.

  • Donavan Aarons

    Local purchasing? We dont make local goods. This report is based on 3rd world living expenses. What about everything we have to import? Some things may cost less, but are completely unbalanced by the rest


    Yes, South Africa is the ‘cheapest Place to live” if you are comparing it to New York, as the author did. Really? First, New York is the most expensive place to live on earth. I lived there for several years. But by every account there are far cheaper and higher quality of life places in the USA. And did he have Zambia as the 6th cheapest? Who paid this guy? Developing countries cannot be the cheapest place to live, if 80% of what they use is imported as in Zambia.

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