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Lifestyle Print E-mail
20 December 2009


Average temperaturesJOBURG enjoys near-idyllic weather year-round. Summers are pleasantly warm, with hot summer days often cooled down by afternoon rain.

Quality of life

Joburg is a vibrant, diverse, cosmopolitan city: a melting pot of nationalities, races, religions and cultures. It offers a unique blend of first-world sophistication and emerging market vitality. 

The City is renowned for its hospitality – possibly because many residents weren’t born here but have been attracted by the lively job market and upbeat lifestyle. Joburgers excel at making people feel welcome.

As foreign investment continues to grow, Joburg is becoming home to large concentrations of foreign residents and it is not unusual to hear French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Greek, Hindi or Mandarin around town.

For more info, go to Joburg Tourism

Cost of living
Joburg is the world’s least expensive city for expatriates, according to the world’s most comprehensive cost of living global survey, released in 2009 by consultants Mercer.

The survey covers 143 cities across six continents and measures the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing, household goods and entertainment. It is the world’s most comprehensive cost of living survey and is used to help multinational companies and governments determine compensation allowance for their expatriate employees.

In Mercer’s survey, New York is used as the base city for the index and scores 100 points. All cities are compared against New York and currency movements are measured against the US dollar. Tokyo scores 143.7 points and is nearly three times as costly as Johannesburg with an index score of 49.6.

The City also featured very positively in the UBS Prices and Earnings, March 2008 survey, ranking as the 60th least expensive city out of 71 cities measured.

Housing and accommodation
Housing and accommodation

Joburg offers a range of housing options from small apartments close to business areas, through cluster homes or townhouses in complexes, to standalone homes on large properties.

In September 2008, according to the Global Property Guide, a two-bedroom apartment in Johannesburg’s exclusive northern suburbs cost ZAR 10,255.8 (approximately USD 1 377.00 or GBP 843.055) per month to rent, while a 420 sq. m home cost ZAR 23,431.2 (USD 3 146.00 or GBP 1,926.11) per month to rent.

Several professional relocation companies operate in Johannesburg to ease the burden of moving to the city.



Many expatriates andthe diplomatic community chose to send their children to the excellent private schools, offering first-class education, including international schools such as:

St Johns College, a private boys school in Houghton

  • American International School of Johannesburg
  • British International College South Africa
  • Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg
  • Lycée Français Jules Verne


In addition, public Further Education and Training (FET) colleges offer high quality vocational education and training through practical and theoretical experience.

Executive education
Globally recognised executive education, short management courses, business degrees and customised corporate

programmes are all on offer. SA ranked 30 (133 countries) re quality of management schools in the World Bank and IFC’s Global Competitiveness Index 2009 – 2010.

Joburg’s SA university business schools are:

Henley Management College, one of the world’s top ranked business schools, has an office in Joburg, the only HMC centre in the African continent.

For more info on MBAs available in SA, visit MBA site

While SA’s public healthcare system faces challenges, the country’s private healthcare sector offers world-class medical and health care.

The Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA) represents the interests of more than 90% of private hospitals in South Africa. Visit HASA for more information.

Joburg’s attraction as a centre for medical excellence is growing steadily, providing high standards of treatment and specialised surgical procedures without long waiting periods. Currently, the largest percentage of medical visitors are from neighbouring African countries, including employees of multinational companies, due to the medical professionalism available in Joburg.

Safety and security
Joburg metro police have daily roadblocks

As local government, the City is taking a direct responsibility for issues of safety and security and is assisting the SA Police Services (SAPS) in its efforts to reduce crime and improve safety in Joburg. The integrated multi-agency safety strategy, implemented since 2004, embraces crime prevention as well as urban management and monitoring service delivery.

The work undertaken by Joburg as a host city for FIFA World Cup 2010 set up an important benchmark and enabled a blueprint for joint planning between the City’s safety and security, health and transport units for major events post 2010.

Collaboration with both national and provincial authorities, as well as the private sector and communities, is bearing fruit, as all stakeholders work together towards a safer Joburg and SA.

The City invested in a CCTV infrastructure in the Inner City, including 24-hour operational control centre, which was expanded in 2008 to include additional cameras and state-of-the-art technology. This translates into wider reach in terms of surveillance, as well as providing valuable assistance re urban management, traffic management and service delivery breakdowns. The Inner City’s integrated safety and security plan also enforces visible policing, law enforcement and bad building actions.

Private business initiatives have provided additional infrastructure in areas such as Sandton and Rosebank, and have formed close partnerships with the various law enforcement agencies at local level. These have resulted in successful projects such as City Improvement Districts. Business Against Crime works closely with the Justice Department and SAPS, showing tangible efforts to improve the management of, and responses to, safety and security.

The City is also focusing its efforts on improving its response and planning with regard to emergency management services, improving response times to emergencies and ensuring that there is a robust and constant focus on updating its disaster management plan, through its dedicated Emergency Services Management department. Communities are part of the education programme to ensure effective response to potential disasters.

Culture, sports and recreation
Soccer City
Soccer City
Like any major modern city, Johannesburg has theatres, restaurants, art galleries, shopping malls, casinos, museums, clubs and sports stadia. For more entertainment info, go to the Joburg website.

Joburgers tend to be passionate about sport, particularly rugby, soccer and cricket, making the city a great option for sports lovers.

Joburg is home to several international standard stadia. The world-renowned Ellis Park, now known as Coca-Cola Park, was the venue for that unforgettable 1995 World Cup final when Nelson Mandela and Springbok captain, Francois Pienaar, jointly hoisted the coveted trophy. The stadium, revamped for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, is home to the Super 14 rugby team, the Lions.

Joburg’s Soccer City (also known as the FNB Stadium) hosted the opening and final matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for which it was enlarged from a seating capacity of 80 000 to 94 700. There are many premier league soccer teams based in Johannesburg.

The other globally recognised Johannesburg sports venue is the Wanderers Cricket Stadium, affectionately known as the Bullring, which hosts local and international cricket games. Joburg boasts several beautiful, first-rate golf courses, and foreigners are often pleasantly surprised at the relatively low cost of a round of golf here.

The City also has several member-based sports and recreation clubs, such as the Johannesburg Country Club and Bryanston Country Club, both of which offer excellent sporting facilities, restaurants and bars.

Restaurants offer everything from haute cuisine to casual al fresco eating, while Johannesburg is increasingly being targeted by major hotel groups so that the northern suburbs in particular boast many of the world’s best-known hotels, including the Hyatt, Radisson Blu, Marriott, Hilton InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Mercure.

Places of worship
Synagogues and mosques can be found throughout the city
The sheer number and variety of places of worship in Joburg reflect the multi-cultural nature of our diverse city. Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and cathedrals are spread throughout the region, and in some areas there are three or four places of worship for different faiths within blocks of each other.

The most famous church is probably Soweto’s Regina Mundi Catholic Church, known worldwide for its part in the apartheid struggle. One of the most striking is the Mormon church, the Johannesburg South Africa Temple in Parktown, whose majestic spires can be seen for kilometres. Another magnificent place of worship, just outside Johannesburg, is the Nan Hua Buddhist temple in Bronkhorstspruit.

At the other extreme are the informal ‘churches’, which are often literally patches of shade under the trees of Johannesburg’s parks where worshippers gather regularly. Each Sunday, for example, hundreds of members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) congregate on a dusty patch of ground in Alexandra for worship.

The inner city was the site of the first synagogue, the President Streets Synagogue, in 1887, and the first mosque, the Jooma Masjid in Kerk Street, in 1888. Today, synagogues and mosques can be found throughout the city. The Swaminarayan Hindu community recently built the Swaminarayan Mandir, or temple, and there are also Coptic, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and Maronite churches in Joburg, to name a few.

Shopping and markets
There’s one thing that no other city in SA can offer like Joburg does.  Shopping, shopping for Africa. From the upmarket Sandton Shopping Centre and Nelson Mandela Square to the fun Oriental Plaza and the not-to-be-missed Rosebank flea Market, Joburg is a shopper’s paradise. For more info, go to the Joburg site for a list of great shops and Joburg Tourism.

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Last Updated on 18 June 2012