How far will my (small) salary go towards rent in different SA cities?


The recent Social Housing Project highlighted the “public outcry over the lack of affordable housing in central Cape Town.” 

This, like in many big cities across the country, is a huge issue that many low to middle income earning workers face.

Read moreCan you actually survive on a minimum wage of R3 500?

The hardworking, lower to middle class earners are being pushed further away to the outskirts, while the city centres are being populated by the rich and budding tourist industry.

This automatically means longer days and less money when you add the time and cost of commuting.

And while higher earning counterparts can choose whether or not they want to sacrifice a larger contribution of their salary and live more central in order to avoid long commutes and high travel costs, us lower earners often don’t have the choice. 

So to figure out where I could stretch my salary most, we asked a few of our friends throughout SA how much they were paying in terms of rent: 

Cape Town 

Two Bedroom flat in Newlands: R10 000
One bedroom (in commune of 5 rooms) in Gardens: R7500
One bedroom flat, no parking in Gardens:  R12000
1.5 bedroom flat, one bathroom in Tamboerskloof: R1600

                  Image: Apartment block in Gardens, Cape Town


One bedroom (garden unit) in Paulshof: R6000
Two bedroom flat in Oakdene: R8000
Four bedroom house, two bathrooms, large garden in Heidelberg: R5800
Two bedroom townhouse in Parkmore; Sandton:  R14 000 
Three bedroom house, large garden and small outhouse, in Ontdekkerspark; Roodepoort:  R 7500.
Two bedrooms, one bath in Centurion: R5500
Two bedrooms, one bath, one garage in Soweto: R3800

                   Image: Apartment block in Parkmore, Sandton

                   Image: House in Roodepoort, Johannesburg


Two bedroom flat, 1 bathroom in Noordwyk: R8000


Two bedrooms, one bathroom, carport (including water and electricity) in Pretoria East: R6000
One bedroom (commune) in Brooklyn: R4000
Two bedroom flat, two bathrooms in Moreletapark: R7500

Two bedroom flat, one garage in Sunnyside: R5500

Four bedroom house in Mamelodi: R5600

                   Image: Apartment block in Moreleta Park

One bedroom (2 room studio) in Universitas R4500
One bedroom (shared house of 5) in Universitas: R2500
Three bedroom (townhouse) in Pentagonpark: R7900
One bedroom (shared house of 10) in Universitas, Bloemfontein: R3320

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in Waterberry Estate: R3500

1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in Carters Glen: R3800

                   Image: Apartment in Kimberley, Free State

It's clear that the closer you are to the action, the more you pay. And based on this, even in cheaper areas of the country it looks like I’m faced with two options: buying food and being able to afford to get to work each day vs living under a roof. Because how are you supposed to do both?

No wonder there is such a high number of millennials living with their parents...

With no option to buy a house (this will have to be an entirely different article altogether, but spoiler alert: it doesn’t look good!) it seems as though South Africans are all just victims to this monopoly of increasingly higher and more competitive rental costs! 

And me, I’m still couch surfing.

We'd love to hear from you, Tell us how much you pay towards rent

Read more:

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