Salary gap in Joburg vs Cape Town is widening

New data published by online job portal, Adzuna, shows that if you are thinking of relocating to the Mother City from the economic hub of Joburg, you will most likely need to look for free activities on weekends as your pay is likely to be substantially less.

Worse still, Adzuna‘s data shows that the salary gap between Cape Town and Johannesburg has widened during 2016.

“It used to be that, on average, those in the Cape boasted a better quality of living to compensate for only a slightly different salary to those in Gauteng. It doesn’t seem to
be so clear cut any longer,” said Jesse Green of Adzuna South Africa.

In broad statistics, the Western Cape lists 22,230 jobs at an average salary of 13% less than Gauteng’s 53,815 jobs.

Even more pronounced was the difference of over 18% between the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. The average of all South Africa’s more than 130,000 positions was R375,786.

  • JNB – R427,892
  • CPT – R352,089

“These statistics are averages and many industries and job types are mixed together, but even so, the message is clear,” said Green.

Gauteng also is home to more than half the 130,000 jobs analysed from the Adzuna website. While many of those moving to Cape Town do receive a higher salary at the coast, there are fewer positions to choose from.

Those living in Johannesburg often quote the pace of a big city, the financial benefits and the cosmopolitan atmosphere, whereas the attraction factors to the Cape are usually cited as non-financial.

Read: Salaries in SA: Joburg vs Cape Town vs Durban

Capetonians and those in the Western Cape mostly mention their quality of living, a sounder government and the abundance of nature, wine farms and beaches.

Adzuna said it also spoke to a few job seekers about the numbers. A respondent named Claudette, who moved to Cape Town a few years ago from the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, said that she would never dream of moving back, even for a huge pay rise.

On the other hand, Nic, who has just accepted a new opportunity in Gauteng,
said: “I will miss the Cape, but jobs like this one just aren’t located here, you have to be prepared to move to where the action is.”

“Which of these factors is more important, is definitely subjective, yet with the above information one can hopefully make a more informed choice when looking to make a move,” Green said.

Using first quarter stats published in April, Adzuna identified the best paying provinces in the country according to the average advertised salary.

Best paying provinces in South Africa

# Province Average Advertised Salary (April 2016)
1 North West R453 050
2 Northern Cape R401 747
3 Limpopo R392 419
4 Gauteng R385 477
5 Mpumalanga R381 850
Average for South Africa R358 140
6 Western Cape R336 248
7 Eastern Cape R299 154
8 KwaZulu Natal R284 211
9 Free State R279 493

Stats SA’s Labour Market Dynamics Report for 2009 to 2015, showed that the average South African wage was R3,200 in 2015.

The stats body’s data also showed the median monthly earnings of employees by province between 2010–2015:

Province 2010 2015 Change
South Africa
R2 900 R3 100 R200
Western Cape
R3 000 R3 250 R250
Eastern Cape
R2 200 R2 418 R218
Northern Cape R2 058 R2 383 R325
Free State R2 000 R2 500 R500
R2 500 R2 500 R0
North West R3 000 R3 000 R0
Gauteng R3 500 R4 500 R1 000
Mpumalanga R2 800 R3 000 R200
Limpopo R1 800 R2 300 R500

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Salary gap in Joburg vs Cape Town is widening