The average take-home pay in South Africa right now

Real disposable salaries in April showed the strongest increase in 19 months, according to BankservAfrica’s Disposable Salary Index (BDSI).

BankservAfrica showed the median take-home salary rose by 2.2% from a year ago.

Salaries also rose for the second consecutive month in April by 1.1%. However, this was slightly below March’s increase of 1.3%.

The average real banked salary of R13,755 has increased by R148 since April 2016. This is due to the higher inflation rate of the past year on which current salary increases are based.

The nominal average salary rose by 7.3% to R13,958 in April on a year-on-year basis.  This represented a R945 increase in nominal terms, BankservAfrica said.

“Although disposable salary increases usually drive retail sales, the growth in real personal taxes paints a bleak picture for durable sales which could be stymied by low consumer confidence,” said Mike Schüssler, chief economist at Economists dotcoza.

The median nominal salary was R10,236, an improvement of R787 compared to a year ago.

Referring to the recent discussions on minimum wages for May 2018 – and the possible impact on disposable salaries – Schüssler said that only 14% of the disposable salaries measured in the BDSI are below R4,000 per month, suggesting that the implementation of the minimum wages will be felt amongst smaller firms.

It is unlikely that the current discussions on the minimum wage implementation will have an impact. According to BankservAfrica data, less than 10% of employees currently earn a gross income of less than R3,500.

BankservAfrica stressed that pensions, medical insurance and garnishee orders are all deducted before and, with about one in 10 salaries affected by such orders in 2012, it is very likely that those earning under R4,000 in gross salaries are in less than 10% in large and medium sized formal sector firms.

It is unlikely that the current discussions on the minimum wage implementation will impact more than 5% of the full-time workforce in larger companies or the state, it said.

BankservAfrica further explained that while its BDSI data is not as representative of small firms with less than 40 or 50 employees, it has engaged with salary payment firms who have expressed similar observations.


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The average take-home pay in South Africa right now