Thu. Aug 22nd, 2019

Cape Town vs Johannesburg vs Durban: The cost of getting drunk in each city

Cape Town Johannesburg Durban alcohol pricesThere’s no doubt that either Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban can manage the job and have you feeling merry. But who does the cheapest beer and wine?

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Three great cities, three great places to get LIT. Whether your pitch up in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban, you’re guaranteed a jol that’s out of this world. So we wanted to find out who’s pricing their alcohol fairly, and who needs to have a sobering look in the mirror.

Using the recently-updated data from Numbeo for April, we’re able to piece together the different price structures for beer and wine in each location. The research is based on user-contributions amassed over the past 18 months.

Cape Town vs Johannesburg vs Durban – the most affordable city for alcohol

It may come as a surprise to learn that bottled beers have a higher average price than their draught or canned counterparts, despite containing less alcohol. Many bottled beers are imported from abroad, which sees average prices for this particular demographic overtake the competition:

Type of drink Cape Town Johannesburg Durban
Pint / 500ml of beer
(at a restaurant/bar)
R30 R29.50 R25
Pint / 500ml of beer
(from a bottle store)
R20.55 R17.82 R15.40
Bottle / 330ml of beer
(at a restaurant/bar)
R40 R30 R28
Bottle / 330ml of beer
(from a bottle store)
R30.73 R27.08 R22.56
A six-pack of beer
(from a bottle store)
R82.20 R71.28 R61.60
Mid-range bottle of wine
(from a bottle store)
R65 R70 R50

Cheapest place to buy your beer and wine in South Africa:

  1. Durban
  2. Johannesburg
  3. Cape Town

Durban, in every aspect, comes out on top. The coastal city allows locals to get legless for less in comparison to the two other “big-hitters” in South Africa. You can score a decent bottle of wine just by breaking a R50 note, and a six-pack of beer is scarcely R10 more expensive.

Adversely, Cape Town was the most expensive of the lot in five out of six categories. Only Johannesburg charges more for a bottle of wine from the bottle store, but admittedly, the difference is a meagre R5.

Theoretically, if you bought one six-pack and one bottle of wine at the end of each working week for a year, it would cost you R7 654 annually in Cape Town. Doing the same in Durban would be almost R2 000 cheaper, setting you back R5 803. Once again, the same metric puts Johannesburg in the middle, coming to a total of R7 346.

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