Many people wonder about the cost of living, food and the average cost of goods in South Africa. We have been asked many times these types of questions. I guess since I have been here for almost 11 years, I have become accustomed to the difference in pricing.
I find that one can order things from the Internet from places outside of South Africa much cheaper. This country seems to put such high mark-up on goods that it sometimes throws it out of reach to the average person. I will give you an example or two here.
My husband has a Nokia cell phone, it takes, like most things in life a battery that is made in China. We checked around this morning on pricing of a new battery only, not the phone itself, just the battery. In South Africa they have it listed for sale at a cost of between R262 – R421 which converts to in US$33.43-53.75 and GBP 20.91-33.61
Now on another website in the UK, we found it for GBP 3.68 which equals to R46.25, so you see no matter what the product, you have to shop around and certainly consider NOT purchasing such items in South Africa, as the mark-up is totally rediculious and out of control.
I have been searching the price for a battery for my laptop and I am finding it to be almost as expensive as if I were to replace my whole computer. I have been in a total culture, electronics price shock for the last almost 11 years. The battery for my laptop in the UK is GBP 47.23 which converts to R591.85 and the cheapest one I could find in South Africa is listed at R699.00
The one thing I can say here too, is that as far as the latest and most modern of electronics, this country is at least three-four years behind the rest of the world. The only way you will see any of these products in South Africa is if you actually purchase them elsewhere and have them shipped directly to you, then you are not guaranteed they will work, for there will be no spare parts available here, should something go wrong and it needs replaced or repaired.
Food here can be rather inexpensive, if you stay away from the organic and stick with the locally grown. However, with that been said, they do take the best of our fruits, vegetables and meats for export. This is not to say the food here we buy is not good, it’s just that it is your average. They do have deals all the time that if you have a big family, it serves you well to purchase their lot deals.
Things here do cost more than other places and most of the items you will find here in the shops are from China, which again they are overpriced for the average person, but we tend to buy them because we want them or simply cannot live without them. We make our own choices of what we spend our money on, it’s simply the principal of the gauging.
South Africa is one beautiful country, it just needs people who really care about the country and the people who live here.