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Here are the best (and worst) paying destinations in South Africa

South Africa's cheapest place to live

Despite what you might have thought about South Africa’s macro-economic outlook, it seems like job availability in South Africa is on the rise.

Here at Adzuna, we recently conducted research and found that as a job seeker, you are still unsurprisingly likely to find employment within the major cities of the country like Pretoria, Cape Town, and Johannesburg.

Out of all the provinces in SA, the Northern Cape is the hardest place in the country to land a job, with less than 1% of all vacancies advertised in that province. As far as salaries are concerned, it seems like it doesn’t really pay to live and work in the Free State since average salaries here are much lower when compared to the national average. The Western Cape is now in the lead with the highest paying average salary of roughly R369,401 per year.

We ranked the top 50 cities in South Africa by comparing job vacancies in our search of over 140,000 live jobs and advertised salaries in each city in January 2019. We also analysed the distribution of job titles and categories to determine which jobs are in hottest demand in each city or province.

Best cities to land a job

City Advertised Vacancies (January 2019)
Cape Town 14,023
Johannesburg 13,657
Pretoria 5,378
Durban 3,316
East Rand (Ekurhuleni) 2,778


Best paying cities in South Africa

City Average Advertised Salary (January 2019)
Cape Town R374,173
Johannesburg R359,285
Sandton R358,728
Cape Town R374,173
Centurion R306,315
Pretoria R231,553


Best paying provinces in South Africa

Province Average Advertised Salary (January 2019)
Western Cape R369,401
Gauteng R304,799
Northern Cape R303,008
KwaZulu Natal R254,881
Limpopo R254,434
Eastern Cape R230,303
Mpumalanga R219,460
North West R214,480
Free State R210,837
National Average R385,741

Note: Some jobs do not have a province and simply fall into “South Africa” as a location


Bad job prospects and correspondingly bad pay

Namaqua and Kgalagadi in the Northern Cape are the hardest areas in SA to find a job with a total of just 133 combined vacancies currently being advertised, closely followed by Xhariep and Lejweleputswa.

Our research indicated that average salaries in a number of cities are on the rise, which might reflect a deeper need to attract rarer skills, as well as line up with current inflation figures.


Best sectors for employment in South Africa

Jobs in the field of ICT are the top hiring sectors nationally with over 20,000 jobs currently advertised. The greatest growth in job stock can be seen in the tech industry, which offers more than 50,000 job opportunities in various categories.

Perhaps the tough economic times due to global pressures and local events reflect in the rise in salaries and the amount of positions, as hiring manager vie for talent and attract skills with much needed higher wages.

Sector Number of Vacancies
IT 9,303
Consultancy 9,204
Technology 7,762
Engineering 7,297
Accounting and Finance 5,334