The borehole drilling price is calculated by first determining the depth of the borehole and the number of casings required. The depth and number of casings affect the overall drilling cost, so this will be factored into the calculation as well. Other factors that need to be considered include rock formations around the drilled site, types of drill bit used, and distance between the borehole and water source.

The actual depth of a borehole is determined by the amount of freshwater needed in the community it will serve. A deeper well or borehole has more rock formations that have to be drilled through, which leads to an increase in drilling cost. The average depth for boreholes is between 400 and 800 meters, but some may be deeper or shallower depending on the need.

The number of casings that are needed for a borehole is determined by the location’s rock formations. If it has two or more layers, then two casings are usually required, with an extra casing being added if it has three layers.

Borehole drilling prices are calculated by looking at three main factors: the depth of the well, the diameter of the borehole and type of rock.

Costs for drilling a borehole include:

The government subsidises 50% of the costs of borehole drilling for poor communities which means that if you drill for someone who earns less than R7 308 (USD 545) per month, half your costs will be covered by the government.

Some borehole drillers offer free test drilling to determine the presence of groundwater before you enter into an agreement with them. This allows you to avoid unnecessary costs in case there is no water below ground level.

You can find a list of registered borehole drillers in your area and compare their prices here.

Borehole drilling services are offered throughout South Africa, but be sure to avoid drillers who unprofessionally and cheaply install boreholes. This can jeopardise your safety and result in a poor-quality water source over time.

Two other costs that should also be considered when drilling a borehole are:

There is no specific price for the installation of a pump because this depends on various factors such as whether you choose an electric or solar pump, whether you require a pump for domestic use or irrigation, and how deep your pump should be installed.

To calculate the price per kilolitre/hour (kl/h) once your borehole has been drilled and the appropriate pump installed, you need to multiply the depth of the well by 10 and divide it by 4.

For example: if your borehole is 80 metres deep, this would mean that one kilolitre/hour (kl/h) costs around 20 cents (USD 0,16).


The price of borehole drilling in South Africa is based on a number of factors, including the depth and diameter. The cost also varies depending on whether it’s for private or community use. Additional costs may include installation fees, transport charges, labour rates and equipment rental-per day/week/month. So while there are many variables that determine how much you’ll pay for your next borehole drill rig project in South Africa, we hope we’ve given you some useful information to help make an informed decision about your budgeting process!