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Salary Gap between Inland and Coastal Jobs Still Widening

According to the data sources from Adzuna’s live site, it seems like the idea of packing up and moving to the coast in search of a better work-life balance is still a very far-fetched reality. Why? Because jobs based in the inland cities such as Johannesburg and Pretoria pay far better than coastal jobs in cities such as Cape Town and Durban.

According to the head of Adzuna SA, Jesse Green, things aren’t expected to improve anytime soon. He mentioned in 2016 that “It used to be that, on average, those in the Cape boasted a better quality of living to compensate for only a slightly different salary to those in Gauteng. It doesn’t seem to be so clear cut any longer.”

Broad stats from 2016 shows that there were roughly 22,230 jobs listed in the Western Cape, compared to the 53,815 listings that Gauteng had for the year, and to make matters worse, the jobs in the Western Cape had an average salary of 13% less than what was being offered in Gauteng.

Out of the 140,000+ jobs listed on Adzuna’s website, Gauteng is home to more than half of them. Some specialist jobs in the Western Cape might offer higher salaries when compared to their Gauteng counterparts, but then again, the options are much more limited in the Western Cape.

Job hunters moving to the coastal areas of South Africa seem to be moving out of the inland areas mainly due to the improved quality of living, a sounder government, and the sheer abundance of natural beauty, while Gauteng job hunters tend to stay inland due to the big city’s pace, better salaries, and a great cosmopolitan vibe.

It seems like although job seekers are taking pay cuts for the sake of living the dream out by the sea, most of them wouldn’t dare move back to Gauteng, not even for a massive increase in pay. On the other hand, job seekers that move up to Gauteng from the Western Cape admit that they’ll probably miss the quieter life by the coast, but that they wouldn’t move away from the business hub of SA due to the abundance of work opportunities on offer.

When compared, jobs in the finance industry pay much more in Kwazulu Natal than they do in the Western Cape. In Gauteng, a financial manager can expect to be paid around R66 930 per month, whereas a professional in the Western Cape will only take home R55 560 per month.

As far as a secretarial pay goes, those employed in Gauteng earn about R23 140 per month, compared to the R22 170 that secretaries in the Western Cape earn per month. Communications and public relations employees in Gauteng earn roughly R23 890 per month, whereas those employed in the same sector in the Western Cape earn only R20 000 per month.

This post should be more than enough proof to indicate the difference in pay scale between employees living and working in Gauteng, and those residing in the Western Cape (or any other coastal region for that matter). Although it’s a matter of personal preference, you’ll ultimately have to weigh up your finances and quality of living before deciding to settle down for an inland or coastal job.