The Rand’s battle vs. the Pound
Since the acquisition of Storage King in December 2017, Stor-Age has paid close attention to the British market. Issues such as the impending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union can have far-reaching impacts on the business. Managing a global brand can bring some interesting differences to the surface. One such difference is the variability in currency and cost of living. With the British Pound constantly threatening to break R20, and having recently done so for the first time in a number of years, it is fascinating to compare the cost of daily living in England with that of South Africa.
Despite a weaker rand, the cost of living in South Africa is significantly more affordable than life in Britain on the pound. According to Expatistan, rent prices in the United Kingdom are 86% higher than in South Africa, transportation prices are 95% higher and groceries are 67% higher.
Here are the costs of some basic daily expenses, if we were to use the most recent exchange rate (South African prices given, followed by British prices):
- A loaf of bread – R11 vs £1.13 (R21) = 92%
- 1 kilogram of tomatoes – R19 vs £28 (R43) = 124%
- Utilities for one month in an 85m2 flat – R1 318 vs £164 (3 095) = 135%
- Four rolls of toilet paper – R28 vs £86 (R35) = 24%
- Tube of toothpaste – R18 vs £88 (R36) = 96%
- 1 beer in neighbourhood pub – R30 vs £31 (R100) = 238%
- 2 movie tickets – R169 vs £25 (R470) = 179%
While looking at these price comparisons can be amusing at best, and make you want to cancel your next trip to the United Kingdom at worst, it is important to note that straight comparisons are do not necessarily reflect the situation in reality. One also needs to factor in what people are earning in the respective countries and how this affects the costs of necessities. Another factor to consider are specific costs that British citizens may not need to budget for, such as the National Health Service (NHS) which subsidises the cost of South African medical aid.
With that being said, South African consumers are able to get more bang for their buck – and live quite comfortably at that - than British consumers. While £500 might rent you a single bedroom in Milton Keynes, you could rent a two-bedroom apartment in Bryanston, or a garden cottage in Constantia for the same price. South Africans are able to go out for a few drinks after work and get an Uber home without breaking the bank.
So while the Pound is increasing in value, South Africans can still take advantage of their high local purchasing power. This means having extra cash available to spend on the items you really want in life, like a mountain bike, guitar or surfboard. Or maybe it’s a bigger item, like a jet-ski.
Whatever it is, if you’re battling to find place to store it while its unused, Stor-Age Self Storage offers flexible and convenient locations to store your valuables. Our friendly staff will help you decide on the appropriately-sized unit and offer the best value and service in South Africa’s self storage industry. Get a quote here.