Quality of Life Cape Town Johannesburg Durban Pretoria

Photo: Flickr / Gil Ewing

Cape Town vs Joburg vs Durban vs Pretoria: Who has the best ‘quality of life’?

If you’re wondering who has the best ‘quality of life’ in South Africa during the pandemic age, we’ve got all the answers you need here.

Quality of Life Cape Town Johannesburg Durban Pretoria

Photo: Flickr / Gil Ewing

Things, in some shape or form, are gradually getting back to a version of ‘normal’ in South Africa. From Cape Town and Johannesburg, to Durban and Pretoria, people are returning to work and rebuilding their livelihoods. The virus is still with us, and precautions are in place, but our collective quality of life has the potential to improve at Level 1.

The return of international travel and relaxed rules on gatherings will allow people to resume their favourite pursuits. So, as we reach the end of September – and the official ‘half-year’ mark of lockdown – we wondered… who has it best?

Quality of life ratings for Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, and Pretoria:

Numbeo has published the latest figures, rating the quality of life in South Africa’s four biggest cities. Their index – which has been compiled through more than 2 000 user contributions – considers factors such as safety, the cost of living, and just how far you can make your money stretch while living in these metros:

Index ValueCape TownJohannesburgDurbanPretoriaBest performing city
Purchasing Power64.4075.2465.9080.15Pretoria
Safety26.3719.6419.1717.91Cape Town
Health Care70.4360.1558.7867.82Cape Town
Climate98.1991.3895.6195.83Cape Town
Cost of Living*39.7441.8737.1841.30Durban
Property Price to Income Ratio*
Traffic Commute Time*43.2140.8026.5945.13Durban
Pollution*39.0362.2552.1255.42Cape Town
Official Quality of Life Index Score140.96125.20135.66133.93Cape Town
The * indicates an index value where a lowest score is the most desirable

Cape Town on top, as Johannesburg languishes

According to the data, Cape Town is the city that offers the best quality of life in South Africa. It scores relatively well on issues of climate, safety, and health care. However, Durban and Pretoria aren’t that far behind.

KZN’s largest settlement comes in second, boasting the lowest traffic commute time and the least expensive lifestyle. Pretoria, narrowly pipped and having to settle for third, is the leader when it comes to purchasing power and rent affordability. Essentially, through a combination of decent wages and fair housing prices, residents here tend to have more money left over at the end of the month.

Johannesburg, however, comes in for the wooden spoon. Despite registering good scores for rental costs and the ease of commuting, the city was let down by factors such as pollution and the rising cost of living.