How much money developers can expect to earn in South Africa right now: Cape Town vs Joburg vs Pretoria

Online jobs marketplace Offerzen has published new data on what developers can expect to earn in South Africa’s major cities.

The group said it is experiencing strong recovery in the demand for tech talent, after hiring activity dropped by more than 25% in April this year compared to the same period in 2019.

Offerzen’s data shows that developers can expect an average starting salary of R27,500 in Cape Town and R26,645 in Pretoria.  Johannesburg came in at third place with an average starting salary of R24,950 for developers with zero to two years of experience.

Cape Town also leads the salary ranking for developers in the two to four-year experience category. Offerzen said that Cape Town developers with this level of experience earn R36,300 on average, compared to R33,500 in Pretoria and R31,400 in Johannesburg.

Other findings from the report show that:

  • At the four to six-year experience level, developers earn the most in Johannesburg, at R48,600, followed by R46,600 in Cape Town and R43,400 in Pretoria;
  • This trend is also seen for developers in the six to ten year experience level with these developers commanding an average salary of R61,000 in Johannesburg, R58,300 in Cape Town and R51,000 in Pretoria;
  • At the ten-year-plus experience mark, Capetonian developers earned on average 7.7% more than their Johannesburg counterparts at R74,700 compared to R70,000, respectively. Developers in Pretoria at the same experience level earned R73,700 on average.

Cost of living

When it comes to cost of living, Offerzen’s data shows that  Johannesburg-based developers enjoy higher purchasing power compared to developers in Cape Town.

Using Numbeo to adjust for the cost of living, OfferZen found that, when compared to Johannesburg, it is 8% more expensive to live in Cape Town, but 5% cheaper to live in Pretoria. Cost of living includes rent, groceries, restaurants and consumer prices.

Stephen van der Heijden, vice president of growth at OfferZen, said that the recovery in hiring activity is a positive sign for the local tech industry.

“The last few months were some of the busiest in terms of hiring activity on the OfferZen platform,” he said. “Companies seem to be settling into remote working and have resumed their tech hiring. While we’ve seen a rise in company hiring activity for remote roles, it’s too soon to say whether this is a permanent shift.”


Read: 5 sought-after tech skills in South Africa right now

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How much money developers can expect to earn in South Africa right now: Cape Town vs Joburg vs Pretoria