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Cost of living in Johannesburg?


ramshaila's picture
By ramshaila - Posted on
03 February 2017

Hi,

I have an offer from an IT company based in Johannesburg, to relocate to Johannesburg. I am being offered a salary of R56K before tax + fully furnished accommodation + car + all utility expenses + insurance .

Could some one tell if this is a good offer and worth considering relocation to SA, with my spouse. I currently live in India.

My expenses mostly would be personal effects + petrol and entertainment. I am vegetarian and a teetotaler.

I will be coming on a ICT visa sponsored by my company with all expenses paid holiday every year for 2 weeks.

If I finally relocate which would be the place to live in J'burg ? My office is located in Sandton and company may provide accommodation in areas like Sandton, Sunninghill , Midrand etc.

An an early response from forum members would be helpful.

Regards
RSR

Meagan's picture
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Last seen: 20 hours 30 min ago
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Cape Town, South Africa

Hi RSR,

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Sandton, Morningside, Sunninghill, Melrose, etc are all good places to live, and are all in fairly close proximity to where you'll be working. Midrand is a bit further out (it's around halfway between Joburg and Pretoria), and isn't particularly to my personal taste, although there are some very nice complexes in the area.

You can have a look at our guide to the Cost of Living in Johannesburg if you want some specifics about how much things cost over there.

Good luck with the move! I lived in Joburg for a few years from around 2013 to 2015, so if you have any more questions feel free to get in touch!

M
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ramshaila's picture
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Last seen: 39 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 03/02/2017

i Meagan ,

Thanks a lot. Appreciate your quick response. Just few more questions :
1) How good is J'burg for vegetarians like me ?
2) How reliable and trustworthy are house maids there?
3) What is the social life like ? How fast and easy it is to make friends and mingle with locals as well as ex-pats ?
4) Finally with the kind of salary , and perks oferred to me, would I be able to save a decent amount , after all taxes and expenses. I am not a lavish spender.

Best Regards
RSR

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Meagan's picture
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Joined: 07/07/2016

Living in:
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Cape Town, South Africa

Hi RSR,

1. I'm not a vegetarian myself so it's difficult for me to comment on that but what I can say is that there's a large variety of culinary options in Joburg so I don't think you would struggle too much to find places with good vegetarian food.

2. It really depends on the individual. If hiring a domestic worker, I'd recommend doing so through an agency.

3. Joburg people have a reputation for being pretty friendly and there are lots of social events going on in the city, so if you make an effort to go out and meet people I'm sure you'll make some friends.

4. This is a bit of a tricky question. I must admit I'm not all that clued up on taxes, and I don't have experience in providing for a family - so on that front, I don't think I have the right perspective to answer this question.

Hope that helps!

M


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ramshaila's picture
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Last seen: 39 weeks 4 days ago
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Hi Meagan,

Thanks a lot for your response. It helps.

Regards
RSR

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Catherine's Website
Hi RSR, just to add with regards to your question on the salary and taxes - on the surface that does look like a pretty good offer. Whether it is market related, I can't say, as this depends on what exactly you're going to be doing in the IT industry. It would be a good idea to contact local recruitment agencies in the city to compare. There are a number of agencies that specialise in the IT industry.

Do keep in mind that tax on that salary could be in the region of about 40%, so your take home salary would be significantly reduced. Also, depending on how your salary is structured, you could also be taxed on the use of your vehicle - even though it is a company car and paid for by the company, it's a perk for which you may also be taxed. So would be good to find out from your company how exactly they will be structuring everything.

Will your company also be contributing to health insurance as part of the insurance you mention? Private healthcare can be very expensive in Joburg, so it's good to ensure that you will be fully covered for this - especially if you have kids. 
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ramshaila's picture
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Last seen: 39 weeks 4 days ago
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Hi Catherine,

Many thanks for your response. You have given valuable information. With regard to insurance I am told the company is covering myself and my spouse on a comprehensive plan including health insurance. It will be me and my wife only, as my kids are grown up and independent.

My elder son lives and works in the USA, and my younger son will be proceeding to Delft, Netherlands for his masters.

My company will be providing dependent visa for him as well, but he will not stay with us but will fly to Netherlands from SA in Aug. I am moving to J'burg in April and my wife and son join me in June.

The info regarding tax on my car is something I need to check with my new employer. Thanks for pointing that out. They have given me a structure where my NETT tax home after all deductions and taxes comes to R43K p.m. My job will be to head a business function for the company. As you said I will compare with local agencies on what prevails in SA at my level. I will be working at a Director level.

Regards
RSR

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WireFree's picture
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Hello Ramshaila,

The salary you are being offered is considered a high end salary. Having your accommodation, car and utility bills paid for is also a bonus.

The areas where you will be living are good areas. In fact you will also find many Indian expats in these areas.

For your other questions:
1) I am a vegetarian. Johannesburg is more friendly to vegetarians than many European cities. Most restaurants have vegetarian meals and you will find a wide variety of vegetables and fruit at most supermarkets. In fact some supermarkets also stock traditional indian vegetables due to the large number of indians resident in Johannesburg. You will also find many small indian shops in and around Johannesburg, that import food products from India, like chapathi/atta flour, ready meals, rice, etc. Some also import fresh vegetables from India. You will also find many Indian shops in the Fordsburg area.

2) Go through an agency that has screened them. Once you've made friends with people living in Johannesburg (including other Indian expats) you could also hire someone recommended by a friend.

3) There are many Indian expats in South Africa. The temples in Midrand, Buccleuch and Melrose are near Sandton. I'm sure you will be able to easily make friends with other expats and local South Africans.

4) Your accommodation and car payments are normally your biggest monthly expenses. As these are paid for by your company and you are not a lavish spender, you should be able to save more than half of your after tax salary.

A few other tips:
If your cellphone expenses are not covered by your company then get a pre-paid SIM card from Advinne (https://www.advinne.co.za). If you get a company cellphone phone, then your wife can use the Advinne SIM card. They have low local call rates as well as low call rates to India, USA and Netherlands.

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ramshaila's picture
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Last seen: 39 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 03/02/2017

Hi WireFree
Many thanks for your detailed response . It's very encouraging to note all the positive comments. I am more than certain to relocate.
Yes my company will be providing me with a new cell phone and the expenses on calls. I only will need one for my wife.
Regards
RSR

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