It appears that the steep fuel, food, electricity and municipal rate hikes imposed on consumers in recent years have pushed SA up several notches in a number of global living-cost indices. High mobile phone and data costs are also making it more expensive to live in SA than in many other emerging-market countries.

For instance, in 2016 both Joburg and Cape Town were among the five least expensive cities of the 209 Mercer tracked in its annual cost-of-living survey. In its latest global ranking, both cities have moved up more than 20 places.

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