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CT, JHB least expensive cities for expat workers

Jun 22 2016 14:15
Memory Mataranyika

Harare – A new survey ranks Cape Town and Johannesburg the least expensive cities for expatriate workers in the world, while Luanda in Angola is the second most expensive for international companies seeking to expand to other regions of the world.

Mercer, a human resource consultancy, said on Wednesday that “despite technology advances and the rise of a globally connected workforce, deploying expatriate employees remains an increasingly important aspect” for multinational companies’ business strategies.

Other experts said international companies are likely to consider the cost of living for their expat workers in target destinations for investment and expansion away from their home countries.

Cape Town and Johannesburg's good rankings will give South Africa an additional competitive edge compared to other countries such as Nigeria and Angola, said one analyst.

Cape Town, famous for its tourism attractions, has scored competitively after being adjudged the least expensive city for expat workers, alongside Windhoek in Namibia. Johannesburg was ranked in 205th position on the most expensive cities survey findings.

“The world’s least expensive cities for expatriates, according to Mercer’s survey, are Windhoek (209), Cape Town (208), and Bishkek (207),” said Mercer in a report released on Wednesday entitled Cost of Living Survey.

With the global economy and companies battling volatile markets and stunted economic growth, a keen “eye on cost efficiency is essential, including a focus on expatriate remuneration” packages, said Ilya Bonic, senior partner at Mercer.

Costs for expatriate workers in Africa may however have risen this year compared to last year, owing to exchange rate volatility in most African currencies and the concomitant impact of this on inflation.

Apart from Luanda – ranked second – the other African city ranked as expensive for expatriate workers is Kinshasa (ranked 6th) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Lagos in Nigeria, ranked in position 13, is also rather pricey for expatriate workers.

“The excessive cost of rented expatriate type accommodation in Luanda is greatly contributing to its retained status as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.

“Costs for goods and services shift with inflation and currency volatility making overseas assignment costs sometimes greater and sometimes smaller. Low levels of inflation have translated into fairly steady cost increases around the world,” executives at the human resource firm said.


business  |  expats  |  survey
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