How much it costs to live in the best-run municipality in South Africa

 ·28 May 2024

The Swartland Municipality in the Western Cape is the best-run municipality in South Africa – but properties don’t come cheap.

Earlier this year, Good Governance Africa (GGA) published its 2024 Governance Performance Index (GPI) to “provide the most accurate, publicly available portrait of the state of local governance in South Africa.”

The report looks at all of South Africa’s 257 municipalities, which are made up of:

  • 8 metropolitans municipalities;
  • 205 category B local municipalities;
  • 44 category C district municipalities.

For the 2024 GPI, municipalities were evaluated from publicly available data in the following classifications:

  • Administration & Governance;
  • Leadership & Management;
  • Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation;
  • Service Delivery (heaviest weighting).

The results show that the Swartland Municipality to the North of Cape Town is the best-run municipality in the country.

The municipality has a population of 148,000 and features several prominent towns, including Darling, Malmesbury and Yzerfontein.

Using property24’s latest annual Sales and Listing Trends, we can get an idea of how much property costs in the area. The average house does vary per region, ranging from R1.8 million to R3.3 million.

This is far higher than the R1,377,013 average transaction price recorded by Lightstone in Q1 2024.

Town2022 Avg Price2023 Avg Price2024 Avg Price
MalmesburyR1 850 000R1 899 000R2 295 000
DarlingR1 750 000R1 551 000R1 800 000
YzerfonteinR2 995 000R2 900 000R3 385 000

Pam Golding Properties previously said that the property prices on the West Coast of South Africa have skyrocketed over the last decade.

“From St Helena Bay and Brittania Bay on the northern shores to Yzerfontein in the south and inland towns like Darling and Vredenburg, property prices have more than doubled in many instances,” said Samantha Nel from Pam Golding.

The West Coast is now a quiet, coastal holiday destination with modern shopping centres, good medical facilities and strong schools.

Residents are generally middle-aged—36 to 49 years—and mature—50 to 64 years—but younger buyers are now being attracted to the area.

Many residents also choose to stay in the area, with roughly 50% owning their properties for a decade or more years.

In Darling, 76% of homeowners have owned their properties for 11 or more years.

Example property in the Swartland Municipality can be found below:


  • 3 Bedroom House in Yzerfontein
  • Price: R3,425,000



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