Government salary levels in South Africa 2024: how much government employees earn

Government salary levels in South Africa 2024: how much government employees earn

Government salary levels in South Africa are categorized according to job levels. Civil servants enjoy more financial benefits such as medical cover, housing and transport, than people working in the private sector.

Government salary levels in South Africa
Government salary levels in South Africa. Photo:, @Ravi Roshan (modified by author)
Source: UGC


South Africa spends a significant portion of its revenue on government employees' wages. Therefore, budgeting for public servants' compensation is one of the Department of National Treasury's main challenges. As a result, the government usually tries to cut down the huge wage bill because it slows down economic growth.

Government salary levels in South Africa

The South African government employs skilled and competent public servants. The Department of Service and Public Administration (DPSA) oversees public service quality, approves government salary levels and notches in the public sector, and promotes public servants' well-being.

Since South Africa's DPSA policies outline minimum wages for government employees, the DPSA documents outline standards of government salary levels for public servants. The government salary levels and notches comprise 16 wage bands, with employees in band 1 earning an average salary of R103,562. Below are the South African government salary levels and notches in 2024:

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Salary band/levelThe average number of public servantsAverage annual salary
1263R103 562
277 651R171 278
369 003R206 957
438 663R247 296
5201 244R283 227
6129 361R332 985
7306 703R411 227
8159 899R479 868
999 927R567 956
1054 510R710 273
1135 365R851 022
1227 399R1 222 246
137 660R1 147 609
142 405R1 378 620
15528R1 661 168
16712R2 130 602

What was the proposed increase in public servant salaries in 2023?

On 1 April 2023, the government and trade unions in South Africa agreed on a 7.5% Public Sector wage increase through significant trade-offs. The National Treasury estimated the salary agreement would come at an additional cost of R37.4 billion to the public purse throughout the 2023/24 financial period.

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Government employees' salary increase agreements (2021 & 2022)

Trade unions in South Africa have pushed for a public servants' salary increase for years. As a result, DPSA and public servants have had several agreements, including the 2021/2022 wage negotiations agreement. They eventually settled on a once-off 1.5% pensionable increase for all employees on salary levels 1 to 12.

The once-off allowance was implemented by 15 September 2021, while the non-pensionable cash allowance for public service wage scales 2020/2021 was effective from 1 April 2021. The implemented non-pensionable cash allowances were:

  • Employees in Levels 1 to 5: R1,220 allowance
  • Employees in Levels 6 and 7: R1,352 allowance
  • Employees in Levels 8 and 9: R1,450 allowance
  • Employees in Levels 10 and 11: R1,640 allowance
  • Employees in Level 12: R1,695 allowance

Additionally, below were the agreed upon guaranteed and potential monthly gains (based on a 5.8% cost-of-living adjustment) and revised housing allowance and medical subsidy per month for full-time employees on wage levels 1 to 12 (public service act employees):

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Guaranteed monthly salary gains

Salary levelMinimum salary (incl. Pension & Serv. Bonus)Proposed notch (incl. Pension & Serv. Bonus)Percentage of guaranteed gainMonthly gain (before deductions)
1R6 856R7 2545.8%R398
2R7 385R7 8145.8%R428
3R8 830R9 3425.8%R 512
4R10 464R11 0715.8%R607
5R12 511R13 2375.8%R726
6R15 023R15 8955.8%R871
7R18 547R19 6235.8%R1 076
8R23 033R24 3695.8%R1 336
9R27 381R28 9695.8%R1 588
10R34 174R36 1575.8%R1 982
11R44 357R46 9295.8%R2 573
12R44 357R55 6185.8%R3 049

The potential gain in monthly housing allowance

Salary levelMinimum allowanceProposed allowancePercentage of potential gainMonthly gain(beforedeductions)
1R900R1 10022.2%R200
2R900R1 10022.2%R200
3R900R1 10022.2%R200
4R900R1 10022.2%R200
5R900R1 10022.2%R200
6R900R1 10022.2%R200
7R900R1 10022.2%R200
8R900R1 10022.2%R200
9R900R1 10022.2%R200
10R900R1 10022.2%R200

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The potential gain due to pay progression (1.5% per annum)

Salary levelPercentage of potential gainMonthly gain (before deductions)
101.5%R 542
111.5%R 704
121.5%R 834

The potential gain in monthly medical subsidy

Salary levelMinimum subsidyProposedsubsidyPercentage of potential gainMonthly gain(beforedeductions)
1R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
2R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
3R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
4R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
5R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
6R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
7R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
8R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
9R2 760R3 54528.5%R785
10R2 760R3 54528.5%R785

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The overall guaranteed & potential gain

Salary levelOverall monthly guaranteed and potential gainTotal %increase
1R1 49214.2%
2R1 53113.9%
3R1 63713.1%
4R1 75813.1%
5R1 90911.8%
6R2 09511.2%
7R2 35510.6%
8R2 68610.1%
9R3 0079.7%
10R3 5099.3%
11R3 2777.4%
12R3 883 7.4%

The potential revised monthly remuneration (before deductions)

Salary levelPotential revised monthly remuneration (before deductions)
1R12 007
2R12 576
3R14 127
4R15 882
5R18 080
6R20 778
7R24 562
8R29 379
9R34 048
10R41 344
11R47 633
12R56 452

Later, the Minister of Public Service and Administration approved non-pensionable monthly cash allowances for part-time and full-time employees on 1 April 2022, thus coming up with the following DPSA salary levels and notches for 12 salary bands (government wage increase rate):

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Salary level/bandAllowances for full-time employeesAllowances for 6/8 part-time employeesAllowances for 5/8 part-time employeesAllowances for 3/8 part-time employees
1 - 5R1 220R915R763R458
6 - 7R1 352R1 014R845R507
8 - 9R1 450R1 088R906R544
10 - 11R1 640R1 230R1 025R615
12R1 695R1 271R1 059R636

Cost of living-adjustment

MPSA approved revised salary scales for employees covered and not covered by Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSDs). The 3% wage increase approval was made effective on 1 April 2022. Employees considered in this new wage scale were:

  • Public Service Act appointees not covered by OSDs
  • OSD for Professional Nurses, Staff Nurses, and Nursing Assistants
  • OSD for Legally Qualified Personnel
  • OSD for Social Services Professions
  • OSD for Engineering Professions and related occupations
  • OSD for Medical Officers, Medical Specialists, Dentists, Dental Specialists, Pharmacologists, Pharmacists, and Emergency Care Practitioners
  • OSD for Therapeutic, Diagnostic, and other related Allied Health Professionals
  • Hourly rates payable to contract employees (persons appointed on a sessional basis) in the identified occupations in the Public Health and Social Development Sectors

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Microsoft Excel tables of the cost of living-adjustment government salary levels in South Africa are on the DPSA website. Click on the links on the webpage to download the tables to your device. Take time to review them for better understanding.

What are salary grade levels?

A salary grade scale is a format used to place employees into different pay levels based on their work experience and level of education. Jobs are placed in pay grades to make the classification of employees easy.

What are the financial year salary scales?

A financial year salary scale is a range of annual wages you pay a new hire for a particular job.

What are the average salaries in South Africa?

South Africans are constantly looking for new jobs. They want more job responsibilities, better financial and career development opportunities, and better salary packages. Discover some of the best-paying careers in South Africa from the DPSA salary scales outlined below:

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Sector/ DepartmentsAverage salary for civil workersSalary growth rate (from 2016-2022)
Education Sector R458 3356%
Health Sector R455 7677%
Police Sector R439 4045.30%
Defense SectorR473 3915.30%
Correctional ServicesR446 7755%
OtherR468 0334%

What is an average salary level of a South African government employee?

An average South African government employee earns around R8 700 to R38 100 monthly.

How much is a level 12 salary in the government of South Africa?

Level 12 government servants in SA earn around R1.2 million annually.

How much is salary level 11?

Government employees in Level 11 receive an annual wage of R850 000.

What is a level 10 salary in South Africa?

Civil servants in Level 10 earn R710 000 per year.

What is a Grade 8 salary in South Africa?

Level 7 civil servants in SA earn about R411 000 annually.

How much is level 7 salary in South Africa?

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Level 7 civil servants in SA earn about R411 000 annually.

What are teachers' government salary levels in South Africa?

The average wage for teachers in South Africa is R458 335 per year (R38 196.25 per month).

Government salary levels in South Africa depict the wide gap between the highest and lowest-paid civil servants. The treasury hopes to gradually increase the minimum salaries of the lowest-paid civil workers to reduce the wage gap between lowest, middle, and highest-paid public servants.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not sponsored by any third party. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

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Source: Briefly News

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