The average salary for startup jobs in South Africa

Startup job activity showed little movement in South Africa in 2017, according to job site Adzuna.

While not the only indicator, job activity in any sector gives good insight into possible growth or decline. One only has to look at the steep drop in textile industry jobs some years ago to know that Chinese manufacturing and imports had taken the market away from many countries, the group said.

In 2016 and early 2017, the jobs portal analysed startup job activity and found that the bulk of skills demand had moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Now, in late 2017, not much has changed in the startup world regarding skills.

Adzuna has again completed research of over 140,000 unique job listings on its website, where all online jobs are aggregated in one place. It found that the number of startup jobs has stuck at around 750, with Gauteng leading the pack, slightly down with 45% of the positions listed in that province.

The Western Cape holds around 35% of the listings, with other provinces making up the remaining 20%, it said.

Salaries have, on average, decreased to R334,000, down from the R355,000 recorded in February 2017, Adzuna said.

It noted that IT related positions, including mostly programmers and developers, top the mix of skills that start-ups look for. The recruitment firm recently found that developer related skills feature among the most rarest skills in the country, taking up six of the top 10 positions.

Job skill or title Demand from Companies Demand from Job Seekers Rareness Factor 2017 Average Salary
Java Developer 2 705 21 128.8 R513 875
Developer 16 952 255 66.5 R467 163
php Developer 1 801 28 64.3 R410 328
Web Developer 1 488 28 53.1 R395 896
Financial Accountant 1 139 22 51.8 R471 429
Software Developer 1 428 34 42.0 R457 254
Net Developer 890 34 26.2 R446 743
Technologist 1 359 65 20.9 R497 127
Assistant Manager 1 077 67 16.1 R222 739
Consultant 6 837 444 15.4 R203 914

Almost all of the reaming startup positions, Adzuna said, are sales and marketing type roles, with a smattering of administrative, financial and consultative skills sought to complete the numbers.

“The data certainly points to a stagnation in startup activity, which is not necessarily either a positive or negative sign. Part of the reason could relate to the incredible difficulty in finding IT skills in South Africa nowadays and that many startup founders find skills in their network as opposed to hiring them for salaried roles, the company said.

“It could also point to startups having moved into more solid company formats, or hiring through newer recruitment models,” it said.

Regardless of the meaning of the trend during 2017, there are definitely fewer jobs than in 2016, meaning the drop has not abated and that startup activity is down year-on- year, it said.


Read: Looking for funding for your start-up? This is how much you can expect to get in Cape Town vs Johannesburg

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The average salary for startup jobs in South Africa