South Africa’s wealthiest and most affluent areas – based on tax data

South African Revenue Service (SARS) tax data out in January shows that most assessed taxpayers are based in Gauteng and they have the highest average taxable income at R408,537, followed by Western Cape at R341,943, and Limpopo at R316,991.

The Free State Province has the lowest average taxable income at R282,932, the data showed.

SARS said that total tax revenue collections for 2020/21 declined by 7.8% to R1 249.7 billion from the R1 355.8 billion collected in the previous year. Collections in the 2020/21 fiscal year were “severely impacted” by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions and an already struggling economy that contracted by 7% in 2020.

Among key points in the 2021 edition were that the total tax revenue collected by SARS increased from R1 144 billion in 2016/17 to R1 249.7 billion in 2020/21, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.2% over this period.

Personal Income Tax (PIT) at 39.1%, Corporate Income Tax (CIT) at 16.4% and Value-added Tax (VAT) at 26.5%, in aggregate remain the largest sources of tax revenue and comprise 81.9% of total tax revenue collections.

The national average tax assessed per individual increased from R32,286 per individual in 2010 to R77,954 in 2019, an increase of 141.4% (CAGR of 10.3%), the data from SARS showed.

The report revealed that the average tax rate was 22.4% compared to 22.3% in the previous tax year, while 2 091 559 (40.1%) of assessed taxpayers were registered in Gauteng, and 687,261 of assessed taxpayers lived in the Johannesburg Metro and were taxed on an average taxable income of R481,209.

Data from StatsSA showed that the average salary paid to employees in the formal sector amounted to R23,526 in 2021 – roughly R280,000 annually.

Assessed individual taxpayers by province, 2019 – 2020

Taxpayers for Gauteng province


Taxpayers for Eastern Cape Province

Taxpayers for Limpopo Province

Taxpayers for FreeState Province

Taxpayers for Kwa Zulu-Natal Province

Taxpayers for Western Cape Province

Taxpayers for Northern Cape Province

Taxpayers for Mpumalanga Province

Taxpayers for North West Province

Read: How many South Africans earn more than R1 million a year

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South Africa’s wealthiest and most affluent areas – based on tax data