Is Cape Town Expensive?

Is Cape Town Expensive?

Cape Town, the beautiful coastal city in South Africa, is often talked about when it comes to the cost of living. People wonder if it’s an expensive place to reside and what the living expenses are like.

In this article, we will explore the average prices in Cape Town, giving you a deeper understanding of the cost of living in this vibrant city.

Key Takeaways:

Reasons to Move to Cape Town

Are you considering a move to Cape Town? You’re not alone! There are plenty of reasons why people choose to make this vibrant city their home.

Let’s explore some of the top reasons why Cape Town is such an appealing destination.

Breathtaking Natural Beauty

Cape Town is famous for its stunning natural landscapes, with beautiful coastlines and majestic mountain ranges. The city offers breathtaking views of Table Mountain, which can be hiked or enjoyed from the comfort of a cable car.

The beaches in Cape Town are equally impressive, with white sandy shores and crystal-clear waters. Whether you’re a nature lover or simply enjoy being surrounded by natural beauty, Cape Town won’t disappoint.

Exceptional Lifestyle

Living in Cape Town means enjoying an exceptional lifestyle. The city boasts a well-functioning public transport system, making it easy to get around and explore all that Cape Town has to offer.

From world-class restaurants serving up a variety of cuisines to a vibrant nightlife scene, there’s always something exciting happening in the Mother City. With a lower risk of power outages compared to other parts of the country, you can also enjoy a more reliable electricity supply.

Tourist Destination

Cape Town is a popular tourist destination, and for good reason. The city offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.

From wine tastings in the nearby Stellenbosch region to exploring the historical sites of Robben Island, there’s something for everyone. The city also hosts a number of annual events and festivals that showcase the rich culture and diversity of Cape Town.

Moving to Cape Town means immersing yourself in a city that offers unparalleled natural beauty, an exceptional lifestyle, and a wide range of tourist attractions.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Cape Town is a top choice for both locals and expats alike.

Average Income for Capetonians

When considering a move to Cape Town, one important factor to take into account is the average income in the city. Capetonians enjoy a higher average salary compared to the rest of South Africa.

While the national average monthly salary is around R24,813, the average take-home pay in Cape Town is approximately R15,489. It’s worth noting that these figures can vary depending on factors such as experience and industry sector.

Entry-level positions in Cape Town can earn around R31,000 per month, providing a strong starting point for building a career.

For those in senior roles, salaries can reach well over R420,000 per month, highlighting the potential for professional growth and increased earning potential in the city.

With a higher average income, Capetonians have the opportunity to enjoy a higher standard of living and access a wide range of amenities and services.

From luxurious housing options to world-class dining and entertainment, Cape Town offers a lifestyle that matches the city’s reputation as a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination.

Cape Town Jobs

When it comes to job opportunities, Cape Town is home to some of the biggest employers in South Africa. The South African Government, Woolworths, Shoprite, and New Clicks Holdings Limited are just a few examples.

These companies offer a range of employment options across various industries, providing stability and growth potential for individuals seeking career opportunities in Cape Town.

In addition to the major employers, Cape Town also boasts a thriving tourism industry. With its stunning coastline and iconic landmarks, the city attracts a large number of visitors each year.

This creates job opportunities in sectors such as hospitality, tourism management, and event planning. The tourism industry not only provides employment options but also contributes significantly to the city’s economy.

Popular jobs in Cape Town span various fields, including operations management, office administration, software development, and graphic design.

The city’s growing technology sector has also resulted in an increased demand for tech-related roles, making Cape Town an attractive destination for professionals in the IT industry.

The Biggest Employers in Cape Town:

  • South African Government
  • Woolworths
  • Shoprite
  • New Clicks Holdings Limited
  • Foschini Group
  • Pick n Pay
  • Mediclinic International
  • Sanlam
  • Naspers

Whether you are looking for employment in well-established industries or want to be part of the city’s booming tech scene, Cape Town offers a range of job opportunities to suit various skill sets and interests.

The city’s economic stability, coupled with its exceptional lifestyle and natural beauty, makes it an enticing destination for individuals seeking career growth and a high quality of life.

Difference Between the Cost of Living in Cape Town and Johannesburg

When comparing the cost of living in Cape Town to Johannesburg, there are several factors to consider. One of the main differences is the rental prices, which tend to be significantly higher in Cape Town.

On average, rental prices in Cape Town are around 50.2% higher compared to Johannesburg. This can be attributed to Cape Town’s popularity as a tourist destination and its high demand for housing.

However, it’s important to note that while rental prices are higher in Cape Town, the city does offer lower prices on consumables such as food and groceries.

Cape Town benefits from locally grown produce, which helps to reduce the cost of living in terms of daily necessities. This can be an advantage for those looking to save money on their grocery bills and overall living expenses.

Transportation costs

Another aspect to consider when comparing the cost of living in the two cities is transportation costs. While Cape Town has a well-functioning public transport system, Johannesburg tends to have higher transportation costs.

This is due to factors such as the larger size of Johannesburg and higher petrol prices. However, Cape Town’s smaller size and lower petrol prices can offset this difference, making transportation costs more affordable compared to Johannesburg.

Overall, living in Cape Town may be more expensive in terms of rental prices, but the city offers lower prices on consumables and more affordable transportation options.

It’s important to carefully consider your specific needs and budget when deciding between the two cities, taking into account factors such as job opportunities, lifestyle preferences, and overall cost of living.

Average Property and Rental Prices in the Mother City

When it comes to property prices in Cape Town, it’s no secret that they can be quite high. The average price per square meter in the city center is around R36,011, making it a desirable but expensive market.

However, there are more affordable options available, especially in the outer suburbs of Cape Town. These suburbs offer a range of family-oriented, lifestyle-rich neighborhoods with lower rental prices.

Speaking of rental prices, finding a one-bedroom flat in Cape Town can cost an average of R11,835 per month. While this may seem steep, it’s essential to consider the convenience and amenities that come with living in the Mother City.

Plus, if you opt for a property in the outer suburbs, you may be able to find more affordable rental options.

So, what does this mean for the cost of housing in Cape Town? Well, it certainly presents a challenge, especially for those on a tight budget. However, with careful planning and research, you can find suitable housing options that won’t break the bank.

Consider exploring the outer suburbs, negotiating rental prices, or even considering shared accommodation to reduce costs. Ultimately, it’s about finding a balance between the price you’re willing to pay and the lifestyle you desire.

Tips for Saving Money in Cape Town

Living in Cape Town can be expensive, but with a little budgeting and some savvy choices, it is possible to save money and make the most of this vibrant city. Here are some tips to help you stretch your Rand:

1. Choose Affordable Accommodation

Consider staying in suburbs outside of the city center, where accommodation prices are generally lower. These areas often offer a range of budget-friendly options, including guesthouses, hostels, and self-catering apartments.

By opting for more affordable accommodation, you can free up funds to explore and experience the best that Cape Town has to offer.

2. Utilize Public Transport and Ride-Sharing Services

Cape Town has a well-functioning public transport system, including buses and trains, which can be a cost-effective way to get around the city.

Additionally, consider using ride-sharing services like Uber, which can be a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional taxis. By utilizing these options, you can save on transportation costs and avoid the hassle of finding parking in busy areas.

3. Explore Budget-Friendly Dining Options

Cape Town is known for its diverse culinary scene, and there are plenty of budget-friendly dining options to choose from. Visit local food markets, where you can sample a variety of delicious dishes at affordable prices.

Check out small, independent restaurants and cafes that offer affordable menus. By exploring these options, you can indulge in the city’s food culture without breaking the bank.

4. Take Advantage of Free and Low-Cost Activities

Cape Town offers a wealth of free and low-cost activities for residents and visitors alike. Take a hike up Table Mountain or Lion’s Head for breathtaking views of the city.

Attend street parties and cultural events, which often have little to no admission fees. Explore the city’s beautiful beaches and enjoy picnics in public parks.

By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can have a memorable experience in Cape Town without spending a fortune.

With careful planning and a little creativity, it is possible to save money while enjoying all that Cape Town has to offer.

By making smart choices in terms of accommodation, transportation, dining, and activities, you can experience the vibrant lifestyle of this beautiful city without breaking your budget.


In conclusion, Cape Town may have a higher cost of living compared to other cities in South Africa, but it offers a unique and vibrant lifestyle that is worth the investment.

With its stunning natural landscapes, thriving cultural scene, and diverse culinary options, Cape Town has something for everyone.

Although living expenses, such as rent and transportation, may be higher in Cape Town, there are ways to save money and stick to a budget.

By considering more affordable suburbs, utilizing public transportation, and exploring budget-friendly dining options, you can enjoy all that Cape Town has to offer without breaking the bank.

Furthermore, Cape Town provides ample employment opportunities, with a higher average salary than the national average.

The city is home to major employers and offers job security, making it an attractive destination for those seeking economic stability and professional growth.

In summary, while Cape Town may be expensive, it is a city that rewards its residents and visitors with an exceptional lifestyle, economic opportunities, and breathtaking natural beauty.

So, whether you’re considering a move or planning a visit, don’t let the cost deter you from experiencing all that Cape Town has to offer.


Is Cape Town expensive?

Yes, Cape Town is known for its high cost of living compared to the rest of South Africa.

What are the reasons to move to Cape Town?

Cape Town is a popular tourist destination with stunning coastlines and mountain ranges. It offers an exceptional lifestyle, reliable public transport, and a lower risk of load-shedding. The city also provides economic opportunities and job security.

What is the average income in Cape Town?

The average take-home pay in Cape Town is around R15,489, with entry-level positions earning around R31,000 per month and senior roles earning over R420,000 per month.

What are the biggest employers in Cape Town?

Some of the major employers in Cape Town include the South African Government, Woolworths, Shoprite, New Clicks Holdings Limited, Foschini Group, Pick n Pay, Mediclinic International, Sanlam, and Naspers.

How does the cost of living in Cape Town compare to Johannesburg?

Rental prices in Cape Town are around 50.2% higher than in Johannesburg. However, consumables like food and groceries are generally cheaper in Cape Town.

Transportation costs are higher in Johannesburg, but Cape Town’s smaller size and lower petrol prices offset this difference.

What are the average property and rental prices in Cape Town?

The average price per square meter for property in the city center is around R36,011. Renting a one-bedroom flat in Cape Town can cost an average of R11,835 per month.

However, there are more affordable options available in the outer suburbs of Cape Town.

How can I save money in Cape Town?

Consider staying in more affordable suburbs outside the city center, using public transport or Uber for transportation, exploring budget-friendly dining options, and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities.

What is the summary of the article?

Despite being an expensive city, Cape Town offers a unique lifestyle and employment opportunities. By budgeting wisely and exploring affordable options, it is possible to enjoy all that Cape Town has to offer without breaking the bank.