Durban outperforms Cape Town and Johannesburg as the best city in South Africa

19 March 2019 2 min. read
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Global health and wealth management consultancy Mercer has released the 2019 edition of its Quality of Living index, and South Africa continues to dominate the list of top cities in Africa with the exception of Port Louis in Mauritius. Durban is the best city to live in in South Africa.

Despite having struggled economically in recent times, South Africa remains one of the strongest economies in Africa. The country has a relatively high level of economic prosperity and a large middle class, concentrated in numerous urban centres across the country including Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The three cities are centres of financial activity that relies on well-developed infrastructure. As a result, all three have made it to the top of Mercer’s quality of living index for the second year in a row, with Durban emerging at the top, followed by Cape Town – despite its current water scarcity – and the Johannesburg.

The annual index compiled by Mercer takes into account the political, economic, social and environmental scenarios in cities across the globe with the objective of displaying their attractiveness as destinations for foreign investment. All these considerations are clubbed together by the firm under the bracket ‘Quality of Life.’

Durban outperforms Cape Town and Johannesburg as the best city in South Africa

“Strong, on-the-ground capabilities are integral to the global operations of most international businesses and are in large part driven by the personal and professional wellbeing of the individuals that companies place in those locations,” explains Ilya Bonic, Senior Partner at Mercer and President of its Career Business.

For South Africa, attractiveness of its cities is absolutely crucial, given the current administration’s goals of attracting as much as $100 billion in foreign investment over the next five years. Cities in South Africa fared exceptionally well when taken in the African context, although the performance on the global scale remained poor.

Durban remained the highest ranked city in South Africa, on the back of a strong housing market, as well as a flourishing environment for consumer goods and entertainment. In the global ranking, however, the city failed to make the top 50, ranking 88th.

Despite a water crisis of monumental proportions, Cape Town still remained just ahead of Johannesburg on the global list, ranking 95th in the world. Johannesburg followed just one place behind in 96th place. In the regional context, all three remained below Port Louis in Mauritius, which ranked in 83rd.