Cost of Living in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is the second largest city in South Africa and is the capital of the Western Cape Province.

Its importance lies in the fact that, apart from it being the largest city of the country, it is also the legislative capital of South Africa.

Cape Town is a city of contrasts: it has both poverty and incredible wealth. You can drive for twenty minutes and see the beautiful buildings right next to slums, shacks and outside toilets.

The total cost of living in this city would obviously depend on the type of your preferred accommodation, area and mode of transport.



Cape Town is the number one tourist destination in South Africa and possibly in Africa so prices in restaurants and similar facilities are much higher than in other South African cities like Durban or Port Elizabeth. You can find expensive restaurants here as well as cheap ones where you can find delicious meals for only 8$. Do not neglect the Cape Winelands for a great food experience if you have a car!



Supermarkets in Cape Town tend to feature primarily South African and African brands, so there’s a smaller number of American and Asian foods. Everything is very cheap though, so you should have no problem cooking at home and saving a lot of money by eating in. If you like South African wine, buy it here before you leave, because it is much cheaper than anywhere else.



Public transport is not very good so you will be taking taxis a lot unless you have your own car. Taxis are expensive, about 1$ per kilometer. Many people will tell you that public transport (mostly minibus taxis) is actually dangerous to use but expats and tourists are using them anyway, mostly without problems. Hiring a car in South Africa is not as expensive as in Europe and petrol is also cheaper than in Europe. Uber and Taxify operately safe and are relatively inexpensive around Cape Town.



Utilities, for an apartment of a normal size (of about 85m2) are just above 70$ in Cape Town, including electricity, heating, cooling and water. Cell phone services are considerably lower than in many countries, while high-speed internet can get a bit pricey, varying along the lines of 65$ per month.

Sports and leisure


It’s no surprise that you will have to cash out a bit more money if you want to indulge in sports and fitness activities and pass your time this way. However, in Cape Town, these are reasonable prices, and most tourists interested in sports will be able to pay for fitness centers that cost about 35$ a month.

Clothing and shoes


As in any large city and capital, you will find a number of major shopping malls with all known brands and chain labels. However, you’ll see most South African brands: namely, South African malls tend to feature primarily local boutiques and local chains. Prices are very reasonable. You can buy quality jeans like Levi’s for around 55$ and a pair of running sneakers for 85$.

Rent per month


Like in most capital cities – living and renting apartments, studios or houses depends on the particular neighborhood and the type of living facility you’re renting. You can expect an apartment for one or two people in the city center to cost up to 750$, while apartments for larger families can cost twice as much and more, depending on the area where you’re renting.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Cape Town

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $8.54
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $2.14
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.75
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $0.89
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.96
Eggs (12) $2.43
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $1.07
Monthly Pass $25.26
Gasoline $1.12
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $72.68
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.12
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $65.98
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $35.39
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $9.33
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $5.69
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $55.75
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $33.88
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $85.97
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $754.03
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $497.08
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $1621.92

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Cape Town?

Taking into consideration the statistics provided, it can be said that people in Cape Town spend most their money on rent: rent in Cape Town is actually twice as expensive than what it considered the country’s average.

The next large chunk of one’s salary disappears within the walls of supermarkets and markets, on food and necessities.

They also spend a lot of money covering their utilities, which is normal, considering that these are things that need to be paid.

In Cape Town, people also spend a lot of money on transportation, and considering the fact that Cape Town is very spacious, this is also to be expected.

The least amount of money gets spent on clothing.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Cape Town: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Salaries in Cape Town are at least 20 to 30% less than Johannesburg yet accommodation is about 20% more.

The income gap in South Africa is one of the largest in the world. This means that the richest of the rich live alongside the poorest of the poor.

Cape Town has a growing economy, which means it’s growing faster than any other city so the opportunities are greater.

The average monthly salary testifies to that: it amounts up to 1200$ which is very high, especially in comparison to other capitals in Africa.

The average monthly net salary is around 1200$, which is really high, but there’s a huge gap between an average salary in this country and its minimum wage which is only 245$.

Average Salary$1221.15
Minimum Wage$245.67
Mortgage Interest Rate10.24%

Cost of Living by City in South Africa

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Cape Town 41.58
Durban 40.48
Johannesburg 45.51
Port Elizabeth 39.41
Pretoria 45.89

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