How much people in South Africa are getting paid

The average South African salary grew just above the estimated rate of inflation with a 6.7% year-on-year growth recorded in May, according to the latest BankservAfrica Disposable Salary Index (BDSI) data.

This level is lower than recorded in April 2016 where the disposable salary growth was 7.3%. According to the BDSI data, the average take-home salary in May was R13,142, slightly above April’s average of R12,877.

“The higher monthly average trend is likely to continue, in line with the anticipated public sector wage increases,” said Mike Schüssler, chief economist at Economists dotcoza.

The BDSI median salary shows that 50% of individuals with monthly take-home salaries paid into their bank accounts took home at least R9,679 in May.

Broad take-home category

BankservAfrica said it can reflect on four years of data, which reveals some interesting trends.

The number of people receiving less than R4,000 per month in their disposable salary is now under 17%, down from around 21% four years ago.

This lowest take-home pay group saw a decline of nearly 13% over the same period, which indicates that people are moving out of this category.

The next group of salaries measured over a four year period are the category receiving between R4,001 and R10,000 into their bank accounts. This group has declined from 43.3% of the total to just under 35% of the total.

Previously, this was the biggest group, but now forms the second largest group of people. It has declined by 11.4% since May 2012, BankservAfrica said.

The largest group of people get between R10,001 and R25,000 paid into their accounts, and make up 38.3% of this category that has also seen growth of over 45% in the four years to May 2016.

The number of people earning a disposable salary of over R25,000, but below R50,000, has increased by 60% compared to May 2012, when this category made up less than 6%. They now make up 8.6% of the total.

Those earning a disposable salary of between R50,001 and R100,000 more than doubled, growing with 104.9% over the last four years. While the base is small, they now make up just less than 2% of the total sample.

The final salaries category – which is not used in calculated averages or medians – is those who take home over R100,000, which grew by 218.4%, BankservAfrica said.

It cautioned that many of these payments are often retrenchment packages and once-off bonuses.

“Nonetheless, in 2013 this category was made up of 5 000 people and has increased to over 11,000 people now,” it said.

Take-home pay, however, just kept pace with official inflation over the last four years with consumers now feeling the pinch of higher taxes and medical insurance, the report said.

Disposable income category Rands per month % Change in number of employees per salary band since May 2012
R0 – R4 000 -12.7%
R4 001 – R10 000 -11.4%
R10 001 – R25 000 45.4%
R25 001 – R50 000 60.0%
R50 001 – R100 000 104.9%
R100 001+ 218.4%

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How much people in South Africa are getting paid