SEE: The top SA city for quality of living

Durban was ranked as South Africa's best city in terms of quality of living, according to Mercer's 21st Quality of Living survey.

The global survey is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments.

Factors that determine quality of living include recreation, housing, the economic environment, the availability of consumer goods, public services and transport, the political and social environment, the socio-cultural environment, schools and education, the natural environment and medical and health options.

Durban was ranked in 88th position among 231 cities surveyed globally, while Johannesburg came in position 96 globally.



According to the survey, issues around water scarcity in Cape Town contributed to the Mother City falling one spot to position 95 globally.

Cape Town


All three these South African cities were ranked low for personal safety. According to the survey report, personal safety is the cornerstone of stability in any city, without which both business and talent cannot thrive.

Criteria used for personal safety ranking include internal stability, crime, law enforcement, limitations on personal freedom, and media or censorship.



Luxembourg topped the list as the safest city globally - followed by Helsinki as well as the Swiss cities of Basel, Bern and Zurich. Damascus ranked as the least safe city with Bangui in the Central African Republic as second most unsafe.

Port Louis in Mauritius - ranked 83rd globally - beats Durban as the top ranking city in Africa for quality of living. At 59th place globally, it also ranks as the safest city in Africa.

As many as 13 of the world's top 20 spots were taken by European cities.

Vienna in Austria retained the top position as best city globally in terms of quality of living - a spot it has retained for a decade.

Zurich in Switzerland is ranked in second place, followed in third place by the cities of Auckland in New Zealand, Munich in Germany and Vancouver in Canada. Vancouver has also retained its top spot in North America for the past decade.

Berlin took the 13th spot, Paris came in 39th, London came in 41st, Madrid took 46 and Rome placed 56th.

At global position 25, Singapore is the best-rated city in Asia.

The 2019 Mercer survey shows that many cities around the world still offer attractive environments in which to do business. They understand that quality of living is an essential component of a city's attractiveness for businesses and mobile talent.
According to Nicol Mullins, principal leader - career business at Mercer, explains that companies looking to expand abroad have a host of considerations when identifying where best to locate staff and new offices.

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