South Africa is getting a new ‘jobs dictionary’ for government workers – here’s what they earn
The Department of Public Service and Administration is in the process of finalising the ‘Public Service Occupational Dictionary’, which will serve as a definite handbook for government jobs in South Africa.
While South Africa’s public sector jobs are already regulated, the government has grappled with rising wages, issues with verifying qualifications, and questions over whether employees are suitably qualified for certain positions. The dictionary aims to address this by acting as a formal document for government jobs in South Africa.
The dictionary is based on inputs received by various government departments and will provide a detailed breakdown of all occupations and occupational groups within the government.
It will also indicate the minimum qualifications and years of experience generally required for occupying jobs within occupational groups. This information will be used to inform career paths – including front-facing services such as the South African Police Service.
What government workers earn
South Africa’s government currently employs around 13% of all workers in the country (around 1.2 million people) – yet it pays 33% of all wages.
Responding in a written parliamentary Q&A in October 2021, public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo said that there are currently 16 salary bands across the public service, with employees in band 1 earning an average salary of R103,562. By comparison, public sector workers in band 16 currently earn an average of over R2.1 million.
Dlodlo also provided a breakdown of how many workers are in each salary band, with the largest number of workers falling between salary bands 5 and 9.
|Salary band||Total number of employees per salary level||Current average salary per salary level|
|2||77 651||R171 278|
|3||69 003||R206 957|
|4||38 663||R247 296|
|5||201 244||R283 227|
|6||129 361||R332 985|
|7||306 703||R411 227|
|8||159 899||R479 868|
|9||99 927||R567 956|
|10||54 510||R710 273|
|11||35 365||R851 022|
|12||27 399||R1 222 246|
|13||7 660||R1 147 609|
|14||2 405||R1 378 620|
|15||528||R1 661 168|
|16||712||R2 130 602|
29,000 public servants – plus members of the national executive, MPs and members of the provincial executive – earned more than R1 million in 2018.
Data from the 2021 Budget shows that the average government worker remuneration passed R400,000 a year in 2019, with this figure reaching the R450,000 mark in 2021.
Data published at the end of April 2022 shows that South Africa’s real average take-home pay declined to R14,969 in March.