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Cost of living

The good news is that, in general, the cost of living in South Africa is lower than that of say New York or London.

If you’re heading out for the evening, you’ll find that just about everything is cheaper in a Cape Town restaurant. Whether you’re eating fast food or settling down to a three-course meal at a mid-range establishment, you’re likely to find that your bill will be considerably less than it would be in large cities across Europe and the U.S.

Heading out to the store, your grocery basket, containing everyday items such as milk, cheese, chicken, vegetables, and fruit is likely to be cheaper. As will clothing be, like sports shoes and jeans.

At home, utilities are also less of a strain on your monthly budget, with the exception of the Internet. There is one note of caution about electricity in the home. In the past, Eskom, the national electricity provider, has had to rely on rolling blackouts known as ‘load shedding' to update its network and ensure future supplies. Although there are no further plans to do this at the moment, it’s something worth reading up on as part of your moving plans (find more information on their website here).

Transportation may also be cheaper. If you choose to travel by car (as people in many areas exclusively do), you’ll pay more for gasoline than New York but less than London. Travel by bus, train or tram and your commuting bill will be lower.

Rents are much lower, in comparison to the UK and U.S., as is the cost of buying property, but mortgage rates will probably be twice what they are at home, so build this into your budget if necessary.

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