Who Earns What in SA?

Who Earns What in SA?


South Africa’s highest-paid employees are, on average, white men who live in Gauteng, work in the community and social services industry (including government) in skilled jobs, belong to a union, and are between 55 and 64 years of age.

The latest South Africa Survey, published by the South African Institute of Race Relations breaks down the current median wage by race as follows:

  • African – R2 380
  • Coloured – R3 030
  • Indian – R6 800
  • White – R10 000.

Earnings are assessed using the median monthly income of employed people in both the formal and the informal sector broken down in various ways, such as by race, sex, province, and age.

The median is the level that divides the relevant segment of the working population in half, meaning that half earns less than the median and half more.

Women are lowest paid

On average the lowest paid employees are African women living in Limpopo, working in private households, not belonging to a union, and aged between 15 and 24.

Skilled workers earn more

The median wages of white earners are four times as high as those of African earners.

Skilled employees earn six times more than unskilled employees.

Unionised employees’ wages are twice as high as those of non-unionised workers.

Alison Job
Alison Job holds a BA English, Communications and has extensive experience in writing that spans news broadcasting, public relations and corporate and consumer publishing. Find her at Google+.