Wednesday, September 27, 2023

SPICE Destination: Top 5 Reasons South Africa Is The Cheapest Place To Live In The World

With the large influx of migrants leaving the shores of Africa for greener pastures in the western world, it might be of great interest to you that The Jewel of Africa, South Africa might be offering you the opportunities you have always wanted.

In the recent World’s Cheapest Countries Ranking, it would be of great interest to you to note that South Africa consistently maintains the world’s Top 20 Cheapest Countries, making it the cheapest country to live in, in Africa closely followed by Algeria.

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You might be considering South Africa as your next travel and tour destination, here are top 5 reasons South Africa is the cheapest country to live in Africa




Property prices and rents are cheap in South Africa in comparison to Europe, Australia and USA. There are many different types of property on offer in South Africa – from city centre apartments to rambling country houses with land – at affordable prices.

South Africans are a nation of homeowners and owning a property is seen as a sign of status. There are no restrictions for foreign nationals buying property in South Africa, but you should take into consideration account estate agents fees, taxes and registration costs associated with buying a house, though at a minimal fee.


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South Africa has numerous large shopping malls in urban areas and chain department stores such as Woolworths which sell everything, from food to clothing. There are a variety of large supermarket chains such as Shoprite and Pick n Pay, and traditional markets selling fresh produce in urban and rural areas. Some of the larger supermarket chains also offer online shopping and delivery services.

Food and clothing are relatively cheap by international standards, with prices for clothing and home-ware being higher in the more exclusive department stores and boutiques. Most shops are open between 9am and 6pm, with limited opening hours on Sundays and public holidays.



In the cities, households mostly use LPG gas canisters in the home, which are supplied by South Africa’s largest power/energy provider, Eskom and they offer a cheaper alternative of power as against expensive electricity prices prevalent in most African major cities.

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Water rates are managed by the South African Association of Water Utilities (SAAWU). Charges are imposed on a sliding scale according to consumption and prices are kept at a low level. It is also interesting to note that tap water is safe to drink in urban areas.

Expatriates moving to South Africa can expect to pay an average R1069 (£50.65) per month for basic utilities (electricity, heating, water, refuse and sewage).


Healthcare and medical costs

Public healthcare in South Africa is billed through the Uniform Patient Fee Schedule (UPFS) and differs according to the patient, their health needs and financial situation, but the cost of hospital treatment or visit to a GP is generally very low.

The South African Government is also currently fast-tracking a National Insurance scheme which it hopes will make the system more equitable and raise standards.

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It is also noteworthy that a private health insurance policy is a must for expatriates moving to South Africa and it is relatively cheap. Popular choices for insurance for non-South Africans are Bupa Global or South Africa’s largest provider, Discovery Health.



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South Africa has telecommunications network coverage of around 99.9% and Internet access is fast and reliable in urban areas.

Phone and broadband packages are often charged at a flat rate and you can expect to pay around R733 (£34) per month for a 10mbps connection.


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