Global HR consulting group Mercer has released its annual Cost of Living index, revealing the cheapest cities in South Africa and the world.
Mercer’s survey is widely recognized as one of the world’s most comprehensive, and is designed to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation strategies for their expatriate employees.
New York City is used as the base city for all comparisons and currency movements are measured against the US dollar.
The survey includes over 375 cities throughout the world; this year’s ranking includes 209 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
Of all the cities covered in the survey, two South African cities made the ranking – and both were in the bottom five, making the country home to some of the cheapest cities in the world.
Cape Town is ranked as the second cheapest city in the world, with Johannesburg ranked as the 5th cheapest.
The two South African cities are down from their positions in 2015 (8th and 17th, respectively) due in large part to the significant weakening of the rand.
Between June 2015 and June 2016, the rand has weakened significantly by 17% – from R12.57 in 2015 to R14.71 in 2016 – making it a cheap location for tourists and foreign workers.
The findings from Mercer align with several other rankings by global bodies which have found South Africa to be one of the cheapest countries in the world.
It must be noted that the survey is a direct price comparison that does not aim to measure the purchasing power of the rand – thus it cannot be used to determine affordability for those earning in local currency.
The tables below show the most cheapest and most expensive cities in the world.
15 cheapest cities in the world
|208||Cape Town||South Africa|
15 most expensive cities in the world
|1||Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|11||New York City||United States|