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Nov 24, 2008
Johannesburg: One of the Best Cities for Expats
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One of the things that an expatriate should avoid in choosing a host country where they can settle down is the cost of living. The higher the cost of living of a particular place, the less likely it is for them to consider the place.


If an expatriate wants to move into a place where they can maximize their money’s worth, they should choose a county and city that offers a quality living but is easy on the pocket. If that is the case, then immigrants should check out Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa and is known to be the City of Gold.


This is because the Mercer Cost of Living Survey of this year identifies Johannesburg as one of the most affordable cities for immigrants. Out of the 143 countries included in the survey, Johannesburg was ranked at number 140. On the other hand, the most expensive cities are Moscow, Tokyo, and London.


Mercer is an international consulting group and the surveys they conduct determine and compare the prices of over 200 items of different cities all over the world. Some of the things they examine are housing cost, transportation, food, and leisure activities. The result of the Mercer survey is useful for multinational companies in setting the salary for the expatriate workers.


A posh and unfurnished two-bedroom apartment in Johannesburg only cost around £533.80 a month or $685.15. In Moscow, the cost of that same apartment would greatly differ £2292 a month or $2,942.


In Johannesburg, one can enjoy a cup of coffee for £1, 20 or $1.54. The price of coffee is almost double in Tokyo where a cup of coffee cost £2.57 or 3.2976.


The research manager of Mercer, Yvonne Traber, thinks that the ranking of 2008 was influenced by the present global economic conditions.

Traber said, "Current market conditions have led to the further weakening of the US dollar which, coupled with the strengthening of the Euro and many other currencies, has caused significant changes in this year's rankings.”

The result of the survey also indicates that South Africa has generally become an affordable place for immigrants. The rank of South Africa in the 2007 Mercer survey is 136.

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