Cost of Living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s fifth largest city and is often called a 20 minute city because you can virtually get from one end of the city to the other in 20 minutes.

Overall, living in this city is great if you want a laid back, small town vibe mixed with the cosmopolitan vibe of urban living but if you are looking for more opportunities, you’d be better off in cities like Cape Town or Johannesburg.

Living costs range greatly, and depending on personal preference but generally, it’s a city with lower standards than other South African major cities.



Port Elizabeth has a lot of fancy restaurants and cafes where you can have a great time and spend a bit more money than eating street food. If you wander off to an inexpensive restaurant, you can have a very decent meal for around 7$. However, if you go to a mid range restaurant, expect to pay a little more. Generally, though, Port Elizabeth offers plenty of delicious and cheap food.



Grocery shopping is a better choice if you’re the type of tourist that likes to cook, as it is way cheaper. You can cut half (or even more) the meal budget. Of course, eating street food is always a cheap option, but if you’re someone who prefers home-cooked meals, then this is a great combo for you, as it is also cheaper. Markets and supermarkets in Port Elizabeth offer affordable prices for its products.



There is a public bus transport system within the city and it has gone through a major renovation with new buses during the recent year. In Port Elizabeth, going on public transport has not been a problem, and it’s used commonly by tourists, students and locals alike – a one-way ticket costs 0.90$. The main form of transportation for most people is the (minibus) taxi though it’s noticeably more expensive.



The monthly price of basic utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling and water, for a normal-sized apartment of around 85m2, amounts to a bit more than 70$. Compared to that, internet is a little bit more pricey, costing more than 50$ a month. Bear in mind that the cost of utilities directly depends on the size of your apartment.

Sports and leisure


This city is brimming with sports opportunities! Many of the most successful professional triathletes in South Africa spend at least a few months in Port Elizabeth every year, cycling, swimming and running. The city has many natural attractions to offer but if you want to practice indoors, you will have to pay for fitness membership that cost about 35$ a month.

Clothing and shoes


Like in most other South African cities, shopping in Port Elizabeth is somewhat affordable. You can buy a pair of quality jeans for around 50$, while you can buy other types of light clothing like shirts and dresses in known chain stores like Zara or H&M for less than this. Of course, sneakers and shoes of known brands like Nike remain more expensive, costing almost twice as much.

Rent per month


While you can cut down on living expenses by following a simple lifestyle, you cannot cut down on one thing and that’s rent. It is also one of the bigger expenses on your monthly budget. However, the peculiar thing about this city is that here, it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for an apartment in the city center or a bit further – the prices are almost the same! It all costs around 270$.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Port Elizabeth

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $ 7.14
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $ 1.57
Water (0.33 Liter) $ 0.58
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $ 0.90
Loaf Bread (500g) $ 0.91
Eggs (12) $ 1.84
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $ 0.93
Monthly Pass $ 32.82
Gasoline $ 1.08
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $ 76.14
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $ 0.18
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $ 55.12
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $ 32.01
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $ 5.71
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $ 5.71
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $ 49.08
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $ 35.03
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $ 82.27
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $ 263.46
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $ 276.49
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $ 525.42

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Port Elizabeth?

Naturally, the biggest bulk of money in Port Elizabeth is spent by its citizens in markets and supermarkets – where people spend on food for a living.

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

Though people of Port Elizabeth have a well-organized public transportation system, it’s still surprising that it takes up around 14% of one’s entire income.

Restaurants take up only 0.2% less than transportation on this pie chart of expenses.

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

Port Elizabeth: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

In Port Elizabeth, the standard of living is lower, and so are the average monthly salaries.

The cities in South Africa are slowly developing and raising their standards and that applies to the city of Port Elizabeth, too.

The average monthly net salary is around 800$, which is lower than in most other South African cities, but there’s still a huge gap between an average salary in this city and its minimum wage.

Namely, the minimum wage here is around 250$ and that is a staggeringly low amount of money in order to get by anywhere in South Africa.

Average Salary$ 844.83
Minimum Wage$ 254.03
Mortgage Interest Rate11.17%

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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