The average take-home pay in South Africa right now

South Africa’s average take-home pay in January 2022 increased at its fastest rate since the pre-pandemic January 2020 period, according to the monthly BankserAfrica Take-home Pay Index (BTPI).

The average take-home pay in January 2022 increased by 13% in nominal terms to reach R17,410, said Shergeran Naidoo, BankservAfrica’s head of stakeholder engagements. “The real BTPI increased by 6% to stand at R17,102, representing a 10.2% increase between January 2022 and December 2021.”

The busy December holiday and shopping season boosted payment numbers by an estimated 190,000 to casual workers in December, which was far above the norm.

“This number of payments made to casual workers in December was the highest in 33 months and slowed down to estimated 112,000 by January 2022,” said Mike Schüssler, chief economist at economists.co.za.

“The extra weekly payments in December are a good indication that some of the previously impacted industries were able to resume business over this period.”

The higher number of casual worker payments made in December lowered the average take-home pay in December while the drop in the number of casual workers paid in January increased the average take-home pay.

The January typical take-home pay increased by 3.2% in real terms. The January payments also contributed to the median salary rising to its highest level since February 2021.

“The overall payments are clear indications for the macroeconomy that consumers are back to receiving pre-pandemic levels of real income,” said Schüssler.

However, there is one proviso – fewer people are receiving the total amount of their take-home pay than before the pandemic.

Although the number of casual payments has improved, the decline in the number of monthly payments is becoming more apparent for reasons such as retrenchments and salary payment declines to the airline, hotel and state-owned entity employees, where operations have not normalised.

“Overall, the commodity price boom has greatly helped the country’s employment as the knock-on impact of nearly R300 billion inflows into the economy over the last year has certainly had a positive impact,” said Schüssler.


Read: SARS boss’ message to wealthy taxpayers in South Africa

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The average take-home pay in South Africa right now