Finances and Living Costs in South Africa


Roughly £1 to 18 ZAR

Check out for today’s exchange rates.


Personal income taxation is co-ordinated through the South African Revenue Service (SARS). They operate a progressive income taxation from 0 to 40% based on your age and annual salary.

Your personal income tax will be deducted via PAYE if you are working in a public hospital in SA. Below are some indicative tax rates in Rand (R) for the year 2014. For further detailed taxation tables, see the SARS PAYE statutory rates webpage

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It is also worth having a good accountant whilst you’re in South Africa, who can guide you through tax returns. We have a list of accountants we work with in South Africa, hence please contact us at if you require this service.


Working as a doctor in SA will leave you with a high disposable income relative to the cost of living. For most up-to-date prices, please see the Numbeo website.

Conversely however, purchase of cars (new or second-hand) are relatively expensive in rural areas. South Africans tend to run up substantial mileage on cars due to the less developed public transportation (& long distances to cover within SA). Despite high mileage, they remain re-sellable at decent prices and tend to depreciate less if they’re well looked after.

You may find prices are cheaper within the cities, hence worth travelling the distance to get a good deal.


e.g. 2009 Kia Picanto – 110 000km for R48 000 (£2600),

2006 Toyota Corolla – 125 000km for R89 9000 (£5000),

2011 Nissan Navara 4×4 – 92000km for R330 000 (£18204).