2019 cost of living ranking: South Africa As part of its Cost of Living data services, Mercer surveys commodity prices throughout the world. In this series of infographics, we examine the cost of commonly consumed beverages over the last five years in China, Mexico, Poland, and South Africa. Expatriate cost of living in South Africa Overall cost of living ranking for expatriates in South African cities Here is how the three largest cities in South Africa would fit in Mercer's global cost of living ranking. *Actual ranking (included in the global cost of living ranking) **Virtual Ranking (not included in the global cost of living ranking) Beverage prices in South Africa from 2014 to 2019 Beer 0.33 liter of an international brand beer All three South African cities saw an increase in beer prices over the last five year. This is due, in part, to a 12% tax on beer enacted in 2019. Coffee A cup of an espresso coffee at a popular and fashionable cafe, including service The price of a cup of espresso also rose in the South African cities that Mercer surveys. Milk One liter of pasteurized whole milk, 2.5% or more fat content The price of a liter of milk rose in the South African cities that Mercer surveys. Water One liter of non-sparkling mineral water The price of one liter of non-sparkling water fell in all three cities, the sharpest decline in Johannesburg, where a liter of water is now 55% less than in 2014.