Cost of Living in Johannesburg

The cost of living in Johannesburg is around half that of European cities such as London and Paris. While the average salary in Johannesburg is comparatively lower, the city is still fairly low cost compared to many expat destinations in the world, with the 2019 Mercer Cost of Living report ranking the city at 185th out of 209 cities. Cape Town is slightly more expensive, ranking 180th.

Comparing Johannesburg with other cities in South Africa, expats generally enjoy a higher standard of living as a result of having higher purchasing power, especially when it comes to renting and buying housing.

For more statistics and general information, see Cost of Living in South Africa.

Cost of living in Johannesburg chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for January 2020.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

ZAR 14,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside city centre

ZAR 11,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

ZAR 10,000

One-bedroom apartment outside city centre

ZAR 7,000


Eggs (dozen)

ZAR 31

Milk (1 litre)

ZAR 16

Rice (1kg)

ZAR 20

Loaf of white bread

ZAR 14

Chicken breasts (1kg)

ZAR 75

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

ZAR 45

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

ZAR 55

Coca-Cola (330ml)

ZAR 15


ZAR 30

Local beer (500ml)

ZAR 28

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

ZAR 500


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

ZAR 1.80

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

ZAR 960

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

ZAR 1,300


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

ZAR 15

Bus/train fare in the city centre 

ZAR 30

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

ZAR 17

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna offers award-winning international health insurance plans to more than 55 million members worldwide. Their plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of you and your family while you are away from your home country, living and working abroad. Get peace of mind knowing you and your family will be protected and have access to quality health care wherever you are, where you need it.

* For a limited time, there is a discount of up to 20% on new multi-member policies and up to 10% on single member policies. This offer is valid until 19 June 2020. See website for details.

Get a quote from Aetna International


Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global