South Africans are earning more – survey

2014-05-28 16:32

Employed South Africans have a higher take home salary than last year, according to BankservAfrica Disposable Salary Index (BDSI).

“The salaries of middle to high-income earners continue to grow in spite of significant stagnation in the economy,” said BDSI today.

BDSI, which monitors how much money salaried consumers have at their disposal, revealed after analysing data for more than 10 months that South Africa had “seen positive real salary increases”.

The average South African is estimated to have a take home salary of R11 200 each month – a 7.1 % increase from last year.

But some working South Africans say they’re not making more money than before. Basedile Sakuneka (25), who works in sales at First National Bank (FNB) said she hadn’t seen the change.

“I don’t see the increase; even some of my peers feel the same way. The cost of living is very high,” she said. Sakuneka said that in order to live within her means, she followed a strict budget and tried to reduce unnecessary spending.

Khanya Silinga (25) echoed her sentiment, saying he seemed to have less money than last year. “My salary hasn’t increased. I’m looking at finding a permanent job,” he said.

Silinga, who works as a technical support agent at Telkom, said that if he could, he would take a second job to earn extra money.

Mike Schüssler, chief economist at economists.co.za, said although the increase may not be experienced by everybody, the index’s findings were great for South Africa as it placed consumers 1% above the inflation rate.

“On the salary side of the BankservAfrica data, it seems that the median is at least keeping pace with inflation. Generally, those employed in the private sector continue to see good increases – especially those earning above the average of R11 200 per month,” said Schüssler.

“In the bigger picture, South Africans are much better off than most African countries.”

He said although employed people were doing better, it did not mean they were not in debt.

“People may have more money to spend, but the problem is that people want to keep up with the Joneses, and the Joneses want to keep up with the Smiths and the Smiths want to keep up with Sipho,” he said.

Schüssler said people based their standard of living on the fictional and lavish lifestyles portrayed on TV – which made them live beyond their means.

The study also showed that the number of people earning more than R100 000 a month had increased by 27% in the past year.

The total amount paid out to this group of earners reached R3.3 billion in March.

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