‘Gateway to Africa’ plan gets a boost as SA cities ranked in world Top 100

Cape Town and Johannesburg are among only seven cities in the Middle East and Africa region to make the Top 100 ranking of the cities in the world with the best quality of life, according to the just-released Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey.

“This is good news for SA property,” says Rudi Botha, CEO of leading mortgage originator BetterBond, “as it strengthens the country’s claim to being the ‘gateway to Africa’.

“An increasing number of companies around the world are scrambling now to tap into African markets, and actively looking for a comfortable as well as convenient base for the employees and executives they are sending to the continent on assignment.

“Among other reasons for doing so, it is less costly for companies to house those working abroad in a city with a good quality of life, as they do not have to pay additional compensation for inconvenience or danger.”   

The Mercer survey is conducted annually to help multinational companies and other organizations compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments, and it covers 480 cities, of which it ranks 221, using New York as the base city.

The rankings are based on 39 different factors, including a city’s political, social and economic environment, as well as climate, access to medical and health facilities, education and access to schools, public transportation, recreation, availability and affordability of housing and consumer goods.

This year, Vienna took the top spot in the world for the second year in a row, with Zurich and Auckland following. Munich was ranked fourth, followed by Vancouver, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen, and Bern and Sydney which tied for 10th place.

In the Middle East and Africa, the top seven cities were Dubai (which ranked 73rdin the world), Abu Dhabi (78th), Port Louis (82nd), Cape Town (89th), Johannesburg (94th), Victoria (96th) and Tel Aviv (99th).

Writing in the BetterNews newsletter, Botha notes that this year, Mercer also conducted a separate ranking of the cities around the world with the best infrastructure, in which it considered electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transportation, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports.

   And in the Middle East and Africa region, Cape Town once again made the Top 100, coming in at 97th, with Dubai (34th), Tel Aviv (58th), Abu Dhabi (72nd), Port Louis (91st), Muscat (94th) and Cairo (95th) being the other cities in the region that made the cut.

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