Costs and Conditions of Living in South Africa

Updated on January 9, 2024

There are various factors that influence the costs and conditions of living in South Africa. From the cost of accommodation and transportation to healthcare and education, it is important to understand and plan for these expenses before moving or relocating to the country. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of living in South Africa and provide you with essential information to make informed decisions.


One of the major costs to consider when living in South Africa is accommodation. The rental prices vary based on location and type of property. In major cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban, the cost of renting an apartment can be higher compared to other areas. On average, you can expect to pay around ZAR 8,000 to ZAR 15,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in these cities.

It is essential to consider your budget and lifestyle when choosing accommodation. If you have a larger family or prefer more space, you may need to budget for a bigger house or townhouse, which can cost between ZAR 15,000 and ZAR 30,000 per month.

Furthermore, if you plan to buy property in South Africa, the average cost of a house can vary from ZAR 1 million to ZAR 5 million, depending on the location and size of the property.

Costs and Conditions of Living in South Africa


Getting around in South Africa typically involves using a car or public transportation. The cost of owning a car includes expenses such as car payments, fuel, insurance, and maintenance. Fuel prices can fluctuate but are generally affordable compared to many other countries, costing around ZAR 15 to ZAR 17 per liter.

If you prefer using public transportation, major cities have reliable bus and train networks. The cost of public transportation varies depending on the distance and mode of transport. For instance, a single bus ticket can range from ZAR 6 to ZAR 20, while a monthly pass can cost around ZAR 500 to ZAR 1,000, depending on the city.


Healthcare facilities in South Africa offer both public and private services. The public healthcare system, although affordable, may have long waiting times and limited resources. Private healthcare, on the other hand, provides better quality and quicker access to medical services.

Medical aid schemes, similar to health insurance, are available in South Africa and cover a portion of medical expenses. The cost of medical aid varies depending on the level of coverage and plan you choose. On average, monthly premiums can range from ZAR 1,000 to ZAR 4,000 per person.


South Africa has a mixed education system consisting of public, private, and international schools. Public schools are government-funded and generally more affordable, while private and international schools provide higher-quality education at a higher cost.

The exact cost of education in South Africa depends on various factors such as the type of school and grade level. On average, primary school tuition fees for private schools can range from ZAR 30,000 to ZAR 80,000 per year, while high school fees can go up to ZAR 150,000 or more.

Cost of Living

The overall cost of living in South Africa is relatively lower compared to many developed countries; however, it can still vary depending on your lifestyle and location. Groceries and dining out are generally affordable, with monthly expenses for a family of four ranging from ZAR 5,000 to ZAR 8,000.

Other expenses such as utilities, internet, and entertainment can cost around ZAR 2,000 to ZAR 5,000 per month. It is important to note that these amounts are estimates and can vary based on personal preferences and choices.


Living in South Africa can offer a diverse and vibrant experience. While the costs of accommodation, transportation, healthcare, and education should be considered, the overall cost of living can be relatively affordable. By understanding and planning for these expenses, you can make the most of your time in this beautiful country.