Durban has for the fourth consecutive year been ranked as the South African city with the highest quality of life.
This is according to global consulting firm Mercer, which recently released its annual Quality of Living Survey results, ranking Durban 85th out of 231 cities surveyed across the world. Cape Town followed in 91st position, while Joburg was ranked 94th.
The only other African city ahead of Durbs was Port Louis in Mauritius, in 83rd position.
"Durban's higher ranking is mainly due to its high-quality housing, plentiful recreational offerings and good consumer goods availability," Mercer stated in a press release.
And we couldn't agree more. In fact, we are convinced that the following five reasons also contribute to the ranking:
Don't be surprised to see Durbanites wearing flip-flops and shorts in winter. It's standard apparel all year round because of the city's great weather throughout the year. In winter, the temperature hovers around 24 degrees, and it is hardly windy.
Despite the generally warmer year, as a subtropical city Durban also gets plenty of regular rainfall all year round, and is plagued by drought far less often than other big cities. Yes, Capetonians, we know it's painful to hear, but Durbanites can bathe every day if they want to...
Durban has a wealth of stunning Blue Flag beaches and because of the fantastic weather, they are as swimmable in winter as summer. Sunrise over the Golden Mile — a stretch of beachfront that runs from South Beach to North Beach — is truly a sight to behold.
In Numbeo's Cost of Living Index for 2017, Durban was ranked as the cheapest metro in the country, compared to Cape Town and Johannesburg. The survey ranks cities based on user-sourced data.
According to 2018 updates from the index, consumer prices in Johannesburg are 11.35 percent higher than in Durban, and you would need around R33,848.69 in Johannesburg to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with R29,000 in Durban (assuming you rent in either city).
4. The food
In Durban, you can have the best meal at the docks, in a shipping container or at an unassuming off-street eatery on Florida Road. The quintessential Durban meal is the bunny chow — a hollowed-out quarter-loaf filled with curry that is a must-try. History has it that the dish was created as a meal-to-go that farm workers could hold in one hand.
5. The culture
The city is multicultural, depending on where you go. At Durban's beachfront, for example, you'll find people of all races, classes and backgrounds surfing, biking, running, taking a stroll, having a braai, dancing, enjoying a group workout-by-the-ocean, or just lazing around.
One is also spoilt for choice where street markets, craft markets, art museums and historical tours are concerned.
Europe dominated the top rankings, with Vienna, Zurich and Munich all in the top five for cities with the best quality of life.