Cost of living in Namibia

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The cost of living in Namibia is very high.[1][2][3] Namibia imports about 50% of its cereal requirements. Many other items used in daily life also need to be imported. High transportation costs make prices very high and unaffordable. Monopoly in some business sectors causes higher profit booking, which also results in raising of prices.[4][failed verification][5]

For example, the price (as of 2013) of electricity for domestic consumers in Windhoek for post paid consumers is 1.08 N$ per unit (KWH) added with ECB levy of 0.0150 N$ per unit and NEF Levy of 0.0102N$ per unit. A Fixed Cost based on the load is added to the bill and The Minimum amount is 114.40 N$ (up to 20A load). While most of the consumers, who are having prepaid metering unit, continue to pay 1.57 N$ per unit of electricity added with ECB levy of 0.0150 N$ per unit and NEF Levy of 0.0102N$ per unit.[6][7] The Price of Gasoline (Petrol) is around 13 N$ per Liter,[8] and The price of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) is close to 8 N$ per Liter.[9] Rent for a family accommodation may exceed 12000 N$ per month in safe urban locations.[10] Price of 1 litre water bottle is around 15 N$, Cost of 1 Litre UHT Milk is around 15N$, Cost of 1 Raw Egg is 2N$, The cost of 1 kg Fresh Chicken is around 60N$ and the Cost of 1 kg Frozen Chicken is around 45N$. Red Meat will cost around 60 to 100N$ per kg.[11][12][13] The cost of making an international call other than neighbouring country is 12 N$ per min and internet access over 3G will cost Minimum of 1 N$ per MB.[14]

Banking in Namibia[edit]

The banking sector in Namibia is highly developed with modern infrastructure, such as Online Banking, Cellphone Banking etc. The Bank of Namibia (BoN) is the central bank of Namibia, according to the Namibian Constitution, is to “serve as the State’s principal instrument to control the money supply, the currency and the institutions of finance, and to perform all other functions ordinarily performed by a central bank”.[15]

This is a list of authorised commercial banks in Namibia[16]

  1. Bank Windhoek
  2. First National Bank
  3. Nedbank
  4. Standard Bank

Namibian banks offer wide variety of products like Savings Accounts, Cheque Accounts, Transmission Accounts, Investment Accounts, Credit Cards Accounts and many types of Loan Accounts (Vehicle Loan, Mortgage/Housing Loan, Personal Loan etc.) to meet its customer requirements. The money in Savings & Investment accounts earns interest, while no interest is paid for cheque and transmission accounts. The credit balance in credit card account also earn interests. Most of the accounts are subjected to monthly account fees and Credit Card accounts are subjected to annual fees. There is no reward / loyalty program for using credit card in Namibia.[17]

The interest earned in any bank account is subjected to a flat 10% retention as income tax. All debit transactions, including debit card transactions, credit card transactions, at the bank's teller counter transactions & online banking transactions are also subjected to a Government Duty of 0.2N$ per transaction.

The Bank's charges are applicable for Cash Handling Transactions such as cash deposits and cash withdrawal at Bank's Teller Counter (For certain savings account, the cash deposits up to only 1000 N$/Months are exempted from this fee). Bank's charges are also applicable for each transaction carried out by internet banking or by debit cards, which are significantly lower than "at the counter transactions".[18]

Taking a cash or personal loan from a financial institution in Namibia is particularly very expensive because the loan repayment includes several fees such as Stamp duties, Namfisa Charges, Credit life insurance, Bank admin fees, Administration fees, Finance charges and Value Added Tax (VAT)".[19] The banking business in Namibia is one of the most profitable business and banks are making hundreds of millions out of a tiny 2.1 Million Namibian population.[20]

The cross border money transfer facilities are limited to major bank in towns. The money transfer to countries outside of common monetary area is particularly very expensive because of high banks commission and one of the poorest currency buying & selling rates. The bank's commission is applicable to both inward and outward remittance.[21] Cross border foreign currency bank cheque and bank draft have been abolished. SWIFT is the preferred method for cross border remittance by banks.[22] Further, in an effort to curb money laundering and to protect the country’s foreign exchange reserves, exchange control regulation is applied to all outward remittances. An expatriate employee in Namibia is only allowed send a certain percentage of their net earning back to their home country. In terms of Exchange Control Regulations, every person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of these Regulations shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Namibia Dollars (N$250 000) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years (5) or both.[23]

Working and living in Namibia[edit]

With 29.6% unemployment,[24] the government is unenthusiastic about letting people in from foreign countries who would take jobs from Namibians. All semi-skilled and unskilled positions must be unconditionally filled by local Namibians.[25][26][27]

It is possible to get a work permit to volunteer, though this requires going through the same drawn out process as the normal work permit. Any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any provision of his/her residence permit conditions shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding Twelve Thousand Namibia Dollars (N$12 000) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years (2) or both.[28][29][30]

An employee's salary is normally paid in Namibian dollars; which is the local currency and income tax (Maximum Rate is 37% and is based on different income slabs) is deducted by the employer. One Namibian dollar (NAD) is always equal One South African Rand (ZAR). One United State Dollar (1 US$ or 1 USD) = 14.50 Namibian Dollar (N$ or NAD).[31]

Schooling in Namibia[edit]

There are government schools all around the country, private schools (mostly located in towns) and one international school in the capital city Windhoek.[32] Primary education at government schools is free of charge as of 2013,[33] and secondary education since 2016.[34] Tertiary educational institutions, both private and public, charge tuition fees.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Windhoek is 34,73% more expensive than Cape Town". 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Windhoek's cost of living sky-rocketing, Official China Embassy Website". Retrieved 11 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Cost of Living Triggering Labour Unrest". Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  4. ^ "Economy::Namibia : Economy-Overview". Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  5. ^ "2010 Investment Climate Statement - Namibia". Archived from the original on 4 September 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
  6. ^ "Interim Schedule Of Approved Tariffs 2013-2014" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  7. ^ "City of Windhoek hikes power tariffs". Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  8. ^ "Fuel prices remain unchanged" (PDF). Ministry of Mines and Energy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  9. ^ Graig, Augetto. "Namibian News Online". Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Property Listing in Namibia". Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Meat, fish, poultry too costly". New Era. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Dairy products up 5,3%". The Namibian. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Spar Market Price List". The Price List by Spar Market in Maerua Mall, Windhoek. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  14. ^ "Prepaid Call rate for MTC Tango". Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Bank of Namibia (BoN)". Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  16. ^ "Bank of Namibia >> Bank Operations>> Banking Supervision and Regulations >>Authorised Banks". Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  17. ^ "First National Bank Pricing Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  18. ^ "Standard Bank Pricing Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  19. ^ "Banks Commit 'Daylight Robbery'". Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  20. ^ "FNB Nam pile up profits". 20 February 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Forex rates and Forex History". Retrieved 1 June 2014.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "Bank Windhoek finally bans cross-border cheques". 15 July 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  23. ^ "FAQ on Exchange Control Regulations". April 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  24. ^ "Unemployment rate increases to 29.6%". Namibia Economist. 28 March 2014.
  25. ^ "China Is A Cactus In Namibia". 20 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Chinese sentenced for overstaying". 24 October 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  27. ^ "Chinese man butchered at Rundu". 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  28. ^ "N$12 000 fine for overstaying". 19 February 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  29. ^ "Egyptian fined for overstaying". 28 April 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  30. ^ "State takes millions found in Chinese shop". 7 August 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  31. ^ "State Bank of India South Africa". Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  32. ^ "Windhoek International School". Archived from the original on 5 July 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  33. ^ "Free Primary Education from 2013". Government of Namibia. 20 December 2012.
  34. ^ "Free secondary education in 2016 – Hanse-Himarwa". New Era. 10 November 2015.