Durban is still the best place to live in SA – despite losing the Commonwealth Games

Mercer’s annual Quality of Living survey shows that Durban is still the best city in South Africa when it comes to quality of life.

This is despite the coastal city not being able to host the commonwealth Games 2022 after it failed to meet “key obligations”.

Durban was awarded the Games in September 2015 and was due to be the first African city to host the event.

Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey assesses quality of living conditions to help multinational companies and other employers fairly compensate employees when placing them on international assignments.

Despite increased political and financial volatility in Europe, many of its cities offer the world’s highest quality of living, the report found.

Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities: Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place.

The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79), respectively.

According to Mercer, Durban ranks above the country’s traditional economic powerhouse of Johannesburg, and Cape Town.

Port Louis, in Mauritius is the highest ranked city in Africa – 84th, ahead of Durban (87th), Cape Town (94th), and Johannesburg (96th).

Victoria in the Seychelles is ranked 98th on Mercer’s list.

Durban’s higher ranking is mainly due to its high-quality housing, plentiful recreational offerings and good consumer goods availability. However, the city’s crime problems keep it from climbing higher on the list.

Here are the top and bottom 10 cities, along with South Africa’s 3 cities:

# City Country
1 Vienna Austria
2 Zurich Switzerland
3 Auckland New Zealand
4 Munich Germany
5 Vancouver Canada
6 Dusseldorf Germany
7 Frankfurt Germany
8 Geneva Switzerland
9 Copenhagen Denmark
10 Basel Switzerland
10 Sydney Australia
85 Durban South Africa
92 Cape Town South Africa
95 Johannesburg South Africa
222 Conakry Guinea
223 Kinshasa DRC
224 Brazzaville Republic of Congo
225 Damascus Syria
226 N’Djamena Chad
227 Khartoum Sudan
228 Port au Prince Haiti
229 Sana’a Yemen
230 Bangui CAR
231 Baghdad Iraq

Living conditions are analyzed according to 39 factors, grouped in 10 categories:

  • Political and social environment (political stability, crime, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Economic environment (currency exchange regulations, banking services)
  • Socio-cultural environment (media availability and censorship, limitations on personal freedom)
  • Medical and health considerations (medical supplies and services, infectious diseases, sewage, waste disposal, air pollution, etc)
    Schools and education (standards and availability of international schools)
  • Public services and transportation (electricity, water, public transportation, traffic congestion, etc)
  • Recreation (restaurants, theatres, cinemas, sports and leisure, etc)
  • Consumer goods (availability of food/daily consumption items, cars, etc)
  • Housing (rental housing, household appliances, furniture, maintenance services)
  • Natural environment (climate, record of natural disasters)

Read: This is how many dollar millionaires live in South Africa

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Durban is still the best place to live in SA – despite losing the Commonwealth Games