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South Africa

Author:  SAIRR|

02 April 2013 11:09

Who tops the SA pay scale?

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Update: Table included. Young African women in Limpopo are at the bottom of the scale.

South Africa’s highest-paid employees are, on average, white men who live in Gauteng, work in the community and social services industry (including government) in skilled jobs, belong to a union, and are between 55 and 64 years of age. This is according to the latest South Africa Survey, published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) in Johannesburg.

Earnings are assessed using the median monthly income of employed people in both the formal and the informal sector broken down in various ways, such as by race, sex, province, and age (see table).

The institute’s analysis is based on data from Statistics South Africa, which measures the gross earnings of employees and the net earnings of employers and own-account workers, across all sectors. The median is the level that divides the relevant segment of the working population in half, meaning that half earns less than the median and half more.

According to these medians, on average the lowest paid employees are African women living in Limpopo, working in private households, not belonging to a union, and aged between 15 and 24.

In 2011, the median monthly wage for African earners was R2 380, for coloured earners R3 030, for Indian earners R6 800, and for white earners R10 000.

According to the Survey, median wages of white earners are four times as high as those of African earners, of skilled employees six times as high as those of unskilled employees, and of unionised employees twice as high as those of non-unionised workers.

SAIRR researcher Georgina Alexander said ‘The data shows where the discrepancies in earnings lie. It must be noted, however, that it takes into account those who earn salaries only. The largest and most enduring inequality in South Africa is between those who are employed and those who are not.’

Monthly earnings by various categories,a 2011
Sex Bottomb 5% Medianc Topd 5%
R R R
Male 800 3 466
Female 500 2 500 16 500
Both sexes 600 3 000 20 000
Race
African 520 2 383 15 000
Coloured 800 3 033 19 500
Indian 1 400 6 800 24 000
White 1 750 10 000 40 000
Total 600 3 000 20 000
Province
Eastern Cape 480 2 500 19 400
Free State 460 2 100 16 000
Gauteng 950 4 000 24 000
KwaZulu-Natal 510 2 600 16 658
Limpopo 500 1 800 15 000
Mpumalanga 600 2 426 17 000
North West 600 3 250 17 000
Northern Cape 580 2 166 16 000
Western Cape 996 3 250 20 000
South Africa 600 3 000 20 000
Industry
Agriculture 480 1 300 5 000
Mining 110 5 800 27 000
Manufacturing 866 3 500 19 000
Utilities 1 000 6 000 27 000
Construction 500 2 600 15 000
Trade 800 2 750 15 400
Transport 900 3 500 20 000
Finance 1 000 4 333 27 000
Community and social services 600 6 000 22 300
Private households 350 1 100 3 200
Total 600 3 000 20 000
Skill level
Skilled 1 400 10 000 35 000
Semi-skilled 800 3 198 14 500
Low-skilled 480 1 600 6 200
Domestic worker 390 1 100 3 000
Total 600 3 000 20 000
Age
15–24 600 2 200 13 000
25–34 650 2 860 18 000
35–44 640 3 250 20 000
45–54 600 3 500 22 500
55–64 520 3 700 25 000
South Africa 600 3 000 20 000
Topics: Wages, salary, SAIRR, exec pay, wages



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