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  5 months ago

Average take-home pay in South Africa before and after lockdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa eased South Africa’s lockdown restrictions significantly towards the end of 2021, but despite this, the average take-home salary is down 5.8% from pre-lockdown levels.

According to BankservAfrica’s Take-home Pay Index salary data, the average take-home salary in December 2021 was R15,542 — 4.2% higher than November 2021’s figure of R14,925.

However, this is still 5.8% lower than the average take-home salary of R16,502 reported in December 2019 — before South Africa’s lockdown restrictions were implemented.

A significant contributor to the declining average take-home wage was the restrictions that barred businesses from operating at full capacity, resulting in several companies temporarily cutting salaries.

Another contributing factor was a substantial decline in part-time and temporary workers being employed.

According to economist Mike Schüssler, the increased employment of part-time and temporary workers as lockdown restrictions eased is one of the reasons the average take-home pay increased during December.

“During the Covid-19 crisis, the decline in the number of casual workers mirrored the double-digit decline in the number of weekly wages paid,” he said.

“Weekly and casual payments showed the worst declines for far longer — the estimated daily payments weakened by double digits on 14 occasions in the last 25 months.”

BankservAfrica reiterated this sentiment, saying that the increased employment of temporary workers had resulted in a higher average take-home salary.

Despite this, the average real take-home pay — which accounts for inflation and other factors — dropped 5.2% year-on-year in December 2021.

BankservAfrica attributed this 5.2% decline to the 5.9% average increase in inflation last year.

Compared to pre-lockdown, the average real take-home pay of R12,463 for December 2021 is down 12.7% from R14,282 in December 2019.

A lot has been increasing but our salaries are not.


  5 months ago
Wow, I knew my salary was a disgrace but never realized how much lower than the average salary it was. I worked for a company for 12 years and when I was forced to leave my salary was less than when I started due to no yearly increases and then a reduction when Covid hit.

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