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Money matters

Money matters UCT, Cape Town

Living costs

Cape Town is one of the most affordable destinations in the world. These are some indicative costs for living in private rented accommodation in the areas surrounding campus.


Rand cost per month

Dollar-cost per month

Semester total


ZAR 4 000 242 USD 1 210 USD


ZAR 6 500 394 USD 1 970 USD

Books & Stationery

ZAR 3 500 per semester 212 USD     212 USD


ZAR 2 000 121 USD     605 USD

Spending money

ZAR 2 000 121 USD     605 USD

Living costs

ZAR 2 500 151 USD     755 USD


per semester    7 400 USD



 12 757 USD

Exchange rate used for the above table: USD1:ZAR16.5.

The listed costs are estimates – your expenses will depend largely on your lifestyle while in Cape Town, including whether you wish to travel around our beautiful country or to our neighbouring states, such as Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe or Botswana. Do check the current exchange rate before you work out your own budget, bearing in mind that the South African Rand can be subject to wide fluctuations.


Money and currency

The local currency in South Africa is the Rand (ZAR).

South African ATMs (automated teller machines) are linked to the CIRRUS network for international cash withdrawals. There are ATMs on UCT campuses and in the shopping areas in surrounding suburbs.  Foreign currency exchange services are also available at the airport and at local banks.

Many students open local bank accounts to facilitate payments whilst living here. Simply take your letter of registration, passport and student card to a local bank branch to apply for an account.