Payroll Cycle
Minumum Wage
Overtime Pay
Visa Immigration

Talent Wiki - South Africa

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

Supplementary Guide for Employment and Expansion in South Africa

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 

Local Universities

The top local universities in South Africa includes:

University of Cape Town


South Africa : 1

World : 140

University of Pretoria


South Africa : 2

World : 202

University of the Witwatersrand


South Africa : 3

World : 239

Universiteit Stellenbosch


South Africa : 4

World : 465

University of Johannesburg


South Africa : 5

World : 532

Salary Data

The monthly salary data of a few job title in South Africa are;

Job Title Salary Range (in ZAR) Salary Range (in USD)
Accounting Manager 46,300 2,902.33
Software Engineer 30,800 1,930.71
Data Analyst 28,300 1,774.00
User Experience Designer 21,400 1,341.47
Project Manager 41,000 2,570.10
Sales Manager 57,400 3,598.14

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards: 

careers24 ; Jobvine ; BestJobs ; CareerJunction

Number of LinkedIn users:

10.2 Million

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

Date Name Type
1 Jan New Year's Day Public Holiday
21 Mar Human Rights Day Public Holiday
15 Apr Good Friday Public Holiday
18 Apr Family Day Public Holiday
27 Apr Freedom Day Public Holiday
1 May Workers' Day Public Holiday
2 May Day off for Workers' Day Public Holiday
16 Jun 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 Cycle:

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

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Minimum Wage:

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

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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.

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Health Examination Clause


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
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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



226,001 to 353,100



353,101 to 488,700



488,701 to 641,400



641,401 to 817,600



817,601 to 1,731,600



1,731,601 and above




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

Offboarding & Termination

Termination Process

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

  • ~Expiration of employment contractCompletion 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

Notice Period in South Africa is up to one month.

Severance Pay

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
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