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Can you make money driving trucks in SA?

You’ve seen it on the big screen and you’ve heard people talk about how truck drivers make a decent living in the USA. But is this really a viable job option for South Africans? Adzuna did some digging, and the results of what we found might come as a surprise.

According to the Department of Labour, there is a set minimum wage for truck drivers that work in sectors like wholesale and retail. These minimum wages followed the introduction of the new national minimum wage, which came into effect on the 1st of January 2019.

 

While it’s true that truck drivers can earn more depending on what kind of cargo they’re hauling and which company they work for, there is still a set minimum baseline across the sector. The Labour department states that the maximum number of hours a driver can work per week is 45. Break that down into a working week of five days and they’re permitted to drive for nine hours per day.

Of course, truck drivers do have the freedom to choose whether or not they want to work overtime and a six-day week, but this is something they need to agree upon with their employer. Yet another surprising thing is that truck drivers aren’t paid the same across all regions of the country.

 

It depends on where you’re driving

South Africa is divided into two areas when it comes to truck drivers. Area A includes:

Bergrivier

Breede Valley

Buffalo City

Cape Agulhas

Cederberg

City of Cape Town

City of Johannesburg

City of Tshwane

Drakenstein

Ekurhuleni

Emalahleni

Emfuleni

Ethekwini

Gamagara

George

Hibiscus Coast

Karoo

Knysna

Kungwini

Lesedi

Mangaung

Matzikama

Metsimaholo

Middelburg

Midvaal

Mngeni

Mogale

Mosselbaai

Msunduzi

Mtubatuba

Oudtshoorn

Overstrand

Plettenbergbaai

Potchefstroom

Randfontein

Richtersveld

Saldanha Bay

Sol Plaatjie

Stellenbosch

Swartland

Swellendam

Theewaterskloof

Umdoni

Witzenberg

 

All areas not listed under Area A fall under Area B. For lightweight trucks, the minimum wage is across in both areas. Medium weight truck drivers earn R790 more per month in Area A than in Area B. heavyweight drivers earn a monthly wage of R5105.64 per month in Area A and R4852.9 per month in Area B. The very heavyweight truck drivers earn a salary of R5611.10 per month in Area A and R5333.91 in Area B.

 

Are there any jobs on offer?

The good news is that truck drivers will most probably always have jobs in South Africa, at least until Tesla can come up with some impeccable self-driving trucks that aren’t out to reap havoc on our roads. At the time of writing, there were just over 350 vacancies for truck drivers in South Africa with an average advertised salary of R252, 224 per year.