Stats SA has published the latest Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) for Q1 2021, showing what workers are getting paid across the various sectors in the country.

According to the data, the average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector was flat quarter-on-quarter and were also higher than in the same time in 2019.

The survey showed a quarter-on-quarter increase of R3 or (0.0%) in average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector from R23,119 in November 2020 to R23,122 in February 2021.

Year-on-year, average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector increased by 3.2%, from an average of R22,395 in February 2020.

Basic salary/wages paid to employees decreased by R4.1 billion or (-0.6%) from R651.2 billion in December 2020 to R647.2 billion in March 2021.

This was largely due to decreases in key industries such as business services, manufacturing, construction, transport and electricity.  However, there were increases in trade, mining and community services, StatsSA said.

Drops in these industries also meant that year-on-year, basic salary/wages decreased by R19.6 billion or (-2.9%) between March 2020 and March 2021.

Bonus and overtime paid to employees decreased by R22.7 billion (-25%) from R90.9 billion in December 2020 to R68.1 billion in March 2021.

Take home pay

The average monthly take-home pay in South Africa was a fraction higher (0.1%) in May 2021, when compared with a year ago – a time when the country faced a challenging economic predicament at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest BankservAfrica Take-home Pay Index (BTPI) shows.

“The progress to recovery has been swift. Although the normal pre-Covid-19 levels have not been reached yet, we believe our take-home pay and employment numbers reflect substantial progress,” BankservAfrica said in a statement on Wednesday (23 June).

“The real take-home pay for May 2021 was R12,650, which was slightly lower than April’s figure but 0.1% higher than May 2020,” said Shergeran Naidoo, BankservAfrica’s head of stakeholder Engagements.

“Interestingly, three years ago, the average take-home pay was R12,706 – this is a good indication that salaries have stagnated mainly as a result of the pandemic and its economic impact.”

However, both nominal average pay of R14,594, and real take-home pay for May, was down from April’s figures of R15,083, and R12,950, respectively.


Originally published by a staff writer on BusinessTech. The content of this post is provided “as is”. MyPlan does not warrant the accuracy, adequacy or completeness thereof, and expressly disclaims liability for any errors or omissions of information.

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