Windhoek becoming cheaper

The cities rated the most expensive to live in globally are Saint Helier in Jersey, Hamilton in Bermuda, Basel in Zurich and Lausanne in Switzerland.

21 January 2021 | Local News



Although Windhoek is still ranked among the 10 most expensive cities in Africa, newly released statistics indicate that it has become less expensive to live here.

The Numbeo Cost of Living Index ranked Windhoek as the fourth most expensive city in Africa last year, compared to 10th place this year.

The most expensive African city, according to the index, is Addis Ababa, followed by Abidjan, Harare, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Gaborone, Accra, Cape Town and Morocco. Durban is ranked 11th.

Economist Klaus Shade told Namibian Sun that there could be several contributing factors why Windhoek is becoming cheaper in comparison to other African cities; however, one reason might be rental prices that have dropped in the capital.

Cost comparison

Namibian Sun compared Windhoek with South African cities Johannesburg and Pretoria on the Numbeo Index to find what the differences are.

The index looks at the relative cost of various categories including rent, groceries, restaurants and local purchasing power.

The study indicates a person would need at least N$39 662 in Johannesburg to maintain the same standard of living that they can have with N$36 091 in Windhoek, assuming you rent housing in both cities.

In Pretoria, you would need N$36 611 to maintain the same standard you can have with N$35 863 in Windhoek, also assuming you rent accommodation in both cities.

The survey indicates that monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Windhoek central business district (CBD) costs about N$6 702, and about N$4 864 in the suburbs.

In Johannesburg, it costs N$7 218 to rent in the CBD and N$5 762 in the suburbs, while in Pretoria it costs N$5 410 and N$5 208 respectively.


The monthly cost of utilities for an 85-square-metre apartment in Windhoek can cost N$1 677.

In Johannesburg, utilities cost N$1 503 and N$1 511 in Pretoria.

Buying a new Volkswagen Golf or an equivalent car would cost about N$337 845 in Johannesburg, N$327 471 in Pretoria, and N$250 000 in Windhoek.

Monthly private preschool or kindergarten fees for one child in Windhoek amount to about N$1 662, while in Johannesburg it costs N$3 633 and in Pretoria about N$3 209.

Meanwhile, a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs about N$465 in Windhoek, while an average bottle of wine cost N$100.

In Johannesburg, a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant costs about N$610 and an average bottle of wine N$80.

In Pretoria, the same meal costs N$508, and an average bottle of wine N$78.

In Windhoek, beer is much cheaper than in Johannesburg and Pretoria at about N$20 for a 500 ml draught and N$17 for a 500 ml bottle.

In the two South African countries, a draught costs about N$35 and bottle of beer N$22.

Food prices

A plain loaf of white bread costs N$10.73 in Windhoek, while in Johannesburg it costs N$14.75 and in Pretoria N$14.25.

However, eggs, milk, rice and fruit and vegetables are much more expensive in Windhoek.

For example, apples cost N$33.50 per kilogram in Windhoek, N$24.68/kg in Johannesburg and N$25.72 in Pretoria. Potatoes are N$22.85/kg in Pretoria, N$19.42 in Johannesburg and N$32.00/kg in Windhoek.

Furthermore, milk costs N$18.76/litre in Windhoek, N$16.75 in Johannesburg and N$16.84 in Pretoria, while rice is N$22.86 in Windhoek in comparison to the N$23.09 it costs in Pretoria and N$23.56 in Johannesburg.

In Alexandria, Egypt, which the cheapest city in Africa, a person needs only N$21 761 to maintain the same living standard that they can have with N$36 000 in Windhoek.

The cities rated the most expensive to live in globally are Saint Helier in Jersey, Hamilton in Bermuda, and Basel, Zurich and Lausanne in Switzerland. The least expensive city is Thiruvananthapuram in India.

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