Drinking Cape Town Johannesburg Durban

Photo: Flickr / Kevin Curtis

Cape Town vs Joburg vs Durban: How the cost of drinking has risen since 2014

Socialising doesn’t come cheap, we’re afraid, as South Africans have come to learn over the past five years. Here’s how things have changed in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

Drinking Cape Town Johannesburg Durban

Photo: Flickr / Kevin Curtis

Consultancy group Mercer have conducted their global Cost of Living Index for 2019, and it includes three of South Africa’s biggest cities. Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are all featured in the survey, which shows us just how much things have changed over the past five years.

Most expensive cities to live in

The wide-ranging research also summarises the most expensive – and cheapest – places to live abroad. Hong Kong topped that particular chart, with Tokyo and Singapore making up the top three. Seoul and Zurich complete the top five, whereas the cheapest city (Tunis in Tunisia) was run close by the likes of Karachi and even Windhoek.

  1. Hong Kong City, Hong Kong.
  2. Tokyo, Japan.
  3. Singapore City, Singapore.
  4. Seoul, South Korea.
  5. Zürich, Switzerland.
  6. Shanghai, China.
  7. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
  8. Beijing, China.
  9. New York, United States of America.
  10. Shenzhen, China.

Cheapest cities to live in, plus how Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban compare

Meanwhile, of the 10 cheapest cities to move to, both Cape Town and Johannesburg aren’t that far off. They come 180th and 185th respectively, with Jozi just pipping the Mother City in terms of availability.

Unfortunately, Durban wasn’t included in this particular part of the index, but Mercer estimate it would crack the most affordable locations (in 202nd). If you fancy living overseas on a budget, here are your best options.

180. Cape Town, South Africa
185. Johannesburg, South Africa
200. Managua Nicaragua.
201. Skopje, North Macedonia.
202. Tbilisi, Georgia.
203. Islamabad, Pakistan.
204. Windhoek, Namibia.
205. Banjul, Gambia.
206. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
207. Karachi, Pakistan.
208. Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
209. Tunis, Tunisia.

Cape Town vs Johannesburg vs Durban: Drinking at a cost

Mercer also did a price comparison for four essential drinks popular in South Africa: Beer, milk, coffee and water. Since 2014, only mineral water has got cheaper in South Africa, whereas Cape Town has become slightly more expensive for beer and coffee, swapping places with Johannesburg.

Durban hasn’t been immune from inflation, but still remains the cheapest of all three cities for milk and coffee. Johannesburg gets the man-of-the-match award from us, though – after all, the cheapest beer always wins!

Costs measured in US Dollars – Photo: Mercer