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South Africa Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in South Africa


Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein


South African Rand (ZAR)


Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu, Southern Sotho, Venda, Tswana, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Swati, Ndebele

Payroll Frequency


GDP per Capita


Employer Tax


Talent Overview

South Africa is an upper, middle income economy and is one of the largest economies in the African continent. The country is known for its abundance in natural resources, which has greatly contributed to their GDP. Among the natural products they produce are platinum, gold, titanium, chromium, phosphate, vanadium, iron ore, cobalt, uranium and manganese.

Major economic hubs:

Johannesburg, Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, and Tshwane

Skills in demand:

Software Development, Business Management, Sales, Information Technology, Banking and Financing, Engineering

Map 28

Local Universities

The top local universities in South Africa are as follows:

Uni1 52

University of Cape Town


Local: 1

World : 336

Uni3 39

University of the Witwatersrand


Local: 2

World: 469

Uni2 46

University of Pretoria


Local: 3

World: 475

Uni4 40

Universiteit Stellenbosch


Local: 4

World : 503

Uni5 South Africa

University of KwaZulu-Natal


Local: 5

World: 897

Salary Data

Some of the jobs in South Africa with annual monthly salary are as follows;

Job Title Average Monthly Salary (ZAR) Average Monthly Salary (USD)
Accounting Manager 46,300 2718.94
Software Engineer 30,800 1808.71
Data Analyst 28,300 1661.90
User Experience Designer 21,400 1256.70
Project Manager 41,000 2407.70
Sales Manager 57,400 3370.78
Frame 427318379

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards:

careers24, Jobvine, BestJobs, CareerJunction

Number of LinkedIn users:


Top Recruitment Agencies:

Acuity Consultants, Lexdan Select, CA Financial Appointments

Employing in South Africa

Employees in South Africa are protected by the employment legislations set by their government. When onboarding locals in the country, it is important that the employer is knowledgeable of these laws for their employees’ welfare. Below are some of the rules that they must observe for their workforce:

Employee Contract

Due to the diversity in South Africa, employment contracts must be written in a language that both the employer and employee understands. In the event that both parties have differing language preference, a translation must be prepared. This must also be applied in the event of employment proceedings.

Probation Period

New employees in South Africa are expected to undergo a probation period of up to 3 months.

Public and Provincial Holidays 2023

Date Holiday Type
1 Jan New Year’s Day Public Holiday
21 Mar Human Rights Day Public Holiday
29 Mar Good Friday Public Holiday
1 Apr Family Day Public Holiday
27 Apr Freedom Day Public Holiday
1 May Workers’ Day Public Holiday
16 Jun Youth Day Public Holiday
17 Jun Day off for Youth Day Public Holiday
9 Aug National Women’s Day Public Holiday
24 Sep Heritage Day Public Holiday
16 Dec Day of Reconciliation Public Holiday
25 Dec Christmas Day Public Holiday
26 Dec Day of Goodwill Public Holiday

Employee Leaves

Type of Leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual Leave 21 days Yes
Sick Leave 30 days Yes
Maternity Leave 4 months Yes



Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

In South Africa, payroll is released monthly and is usually given every 25th day of the month.

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in South Africa is ZAR 23.19 per hour.

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

Employees exceeding the 45 hours of work in a week are paid either 1.5 times the hourly rate or an equivalent amount of time off.


13th Month Pay

A 13th month pay in South Africa is not mandatory.

Employee Benefits

Below are some of the benefits that South African employees receive upon employment:

  • Statutory Leaves
  • Unemployment Funds
  • Healthcare Insurance
  • Retirement Plans and Pension
  • Skills development benefits
  • Occupational Accidents and Diseases benefits


Employer Payroll Tax

Type of Contribution Tax Rate
Unemployment Insurance 1% (capped at ZAR 212,544 annually)
Skills Development Levy (SDL) 1%

Employee Payroll Tax

Type of Contribution Tax Rate
Unemployment Insurance 1% (capped at ZAR 212,544 annually)

Employee Income Tax

Income (ZAR) Tax amount (ZAR) Tax on excess (%)
0 to 226,000 0 18
226,001 to 353,100 40,680 26
353,101 to 488,700 73,726 31
488,701 to 641,400 115,762 36
641,401 to 817,600 170,734 39
817,601 to 1,731,600 239,452 41
1,731,601 and above 614,192 45


The standard rate for VAT in South Africa is 15%.

Offboarding & Termination

Termination of employment contracts in South Africa may occur for varying reasons. Below are some of them:

  • Expiration of employment contract
  • Completion of the employment task
  • Notification of either parties
  • Summary termination due to company breach
  • Mutual agreement
  • Employer Insolvency
  • Employee Misconduct
  • Unsatisfactory employee performance

Notice Period in South Africa is up to one month.

Employers must pay their terminated employees a severance pay equal to one week’s worth of salary for every year of completed service.

Visa and Immigration

Foreigners applying for job positions in South Africa must apply for a work visa to legally work in the country. Below are the different types that expats can apply for:

  • General work visa
  • Critical skills work visa
  • Intra-company transfer work visa
  • Corporate visa
Visa 3
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Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Visa & Immigration