The average salary for a software developer in South Africa is R474,250
The Average salary for a software developer in South Africa is estimated to be R474,250. That’s R39,500 per month or R31,000 per month after tax (20.5%). This works out to be around $26,000 USD per year.
Entry-level software developers in South Africa positions start at around R314,000 per year (Glassdoor). Experienced senior software developer positions earn upwards of R644,000 per year with bonus and equity options. We’ve included a few estimates from various salary sites in South Africa to give you a more accurate picture of the average developer salary. You can check out our salary calculator for more specific information.
Note: One dollar (USD) is equivalent to 18.40 South African Rand (ZAR).
Salary by Experience
When comparing estimated salaries by experience level in South African Rand (ZAR), a clear progression is evident. Entry-level positions start at around R314,000, junior positions earn approximately R360,000, mid-level positions command around R480,000, and senior-level positions top the scale at around R644,000. These figures highlight the increasing compensation that accompanies higher levels of experience and responsibility.
Taxes in South Africa 🇿🇦
It’s important to understand how taxes in South Africa affect your take home pay. Your contract might state R40,000 monthly gross pay but your bank account will only receive R32,000. As a software developer working in South Africa, you’ll most likely pay 20% in tax. Here’s an example of net pay versus gross pay.
On a R474,250 salary, your take home pay will be R 376,954 after tax and Unemployment Insurance. This equates to R 31,413 per month and R 7,249 per week. If you work 5 days per week, this is R 1,450 per day, or R 181 per hour at 40 hours per week.
South African tax brackets:
Tax rate (%)
1 – 237,100
18% of taxable income
237,101 – 370,500
R40,680 + 26% of taxable income above 226,000
353,101 – 488,700
R73,726 + 31% of taxable income above 353,100
488,701 – 641,400
R115,762 + 36% of taxable income above 488,700
641,401 – 817,600
R170,734 + 39% of taxable income above 641,400
817,601 – 1,731,600
R239,452 + 41% of taxable income above 817,600
1,731,601 and above
R614,192 + 45% of taxable income above 1,731,600
Salary by type and technology
Depending on what backend technology a developer is skilled in, pay might vary. For example a Cloud developer is going to earn more than a frontend developer. A lot of the differences have to do with job opportunities and availability of skilled developers. Game and fullstack developers in South Africa earn the least while Cloud and security developers take home the most. Here's a breakdown of salary by technology.
Average salary by city
Cape Town is the top-paying city in South Africa, offering R 509,000 per year. Johannesburg and Pretoria are in the same ballpark, both at R 420,000. Durban is a bit lower at R 382,000, while Port Elizabeth is significantly less, with a median salary of R 278,000. This could indicate that the tech industry is more developed and competitive in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Pretoria, leading to higher wages for software developers there, while Port Elizabeth might still be catching up.
Salary by Company in South Africa
Salary averages only go so far, sometimes it’s more helpful to see specific salaries at real companies to get an idea of what other software developers are earning. These are not the best companies in South Africa but a handful of some of the larger companies in the country where devs have reported salaries. Majority of these companies are paying software developers between R400k - R500k. While far from the highest paying developer salaries, these salaries are generally considered to be good.
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