Capetonians have to work about 8.4 hours at minimum wage to be able to afford the dry cleaning of one suit, according to the 2018 Dry Cleaning Index released by online dry cleaning service Zipjet.
Cape Town ranks 40th out of 100 cities in the world selected for the index and is also among the top 10 cities where people have to work the most hours at minimum wage to afford to dry clean a suit. Cape Town was the only South African city selected for the purposes of compiling the index.
The index measures the cost of dry cleaning a suit and found it costs $14.51 (about R178) in the Mother City.
Oslo in Norway is the most expensive city to dry clean a suit, at $52.03 (about R638). This is more than 31% more expensive than the worldwide average. Jakarta in Indonesia was found to be the least expensive city for the same service at $2.20 (about R27).
Helsinki is the second most expensive city to have a suit dry cleaned. Other cities in the top 10 most expensive list include Zurich (Switzerland), Stockholm (Sweden), Auckland (New Zealand), Vienna (Austria) and Amsterdam (Netherlands).
The index found that Russians are the biggest contributors to the dry cleaning industry, spending about $3.3bn (about R40.5bn) per year on dry cleaning suits, followed by the US, Brazil, Germany, France, the UK, Japan, India, China and Canada.
As an indicator of affordability, the study also establishes the number of hours an individual is required to work while earning minimum wage to afford the service.
People living in Lagos, Nigeria, have to work the most hours at minimum wage (22.2 hours) to be able to afford to dry clean a suit at $6.40 (about R79). People in Moscow have to work the second longest (16.2 hours) to be able to afford to have a suit dry cleaned. Cape Town ranks 9th on this sub-index.
By contrast, people in Dubai only have to work 30 minutes at minimum wage to afford to have a suit dry cleaned.
“For traditionally business-oriented cities, such as Oslo, Helsinki and Zurich, our study shows that citizens are paying between 13% and 30% more to dry clean their suits than the rest of the world," says founder and managing director of Zipjet, Florian Färber.
"Our data also shows that, as salaries are higher in these nations, it would only take around one to three hours of working at minimum wage to afford such a service in these cities.”
He hopes the index will serve as a useful tool for young professionals searching for a lucrative yet affordable new city to call home. He sees Geneva and Copenhagen, for instance, as great examples of how the index acts as a useful indicator of overall affordability.
The index illustrates that, despite high dry cleaning costs, these two cities also offer higher wages.
* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER