Shocking pay difference between black and white professionals in South Africa


New data shows a massive difference between the median pay of black and white professionals in South Africa.

Analytico, a data and earnings analytic consultancy, conducted a comparative earnings analysis of genders across different races to indicate any major discrepancies, using the Analytico Salary Analysis ModelTM.

Its findings were based on 692,704 individuals.

Professionals are classified as occupations which requires a high level of professional knowledge, skills and experience.

The research found that white male professionals out earn their female counterparts by as much as 42% on the median earnings, while black female professionals out earn their male counterparts by 17%.

White males working in the formal sector could expect to earn a median salary of R21,700 per month, while white males working in the formal sector as professionals could expect to earn a median salary of R30,453 per month.

By contrast, black males working in the formal sector could expect to earn a median salary of R3,612 per month, while professionals could expect to earn R9,244 per month.

White females working in the formal sector could expect to earn a median salary of R13,331 per month, with professional females expecting to earn R17,700. For black females those figures dropped to R2,887, and R11,155 respectively.

Black females in the labour market have a greater probability of unemployment – at a rate of 13%, dropping to 6% for professionals.

Monthly earnings

For black males the probability of unemployment was at 8% dropping to 7% for professionals, versus 4% for white males, and between 6% and 7% for white females.

Analytico stressed that logic obviously dictates that not all individuals can receive the same salary however discrepancies in salaries may only be justified by the following factors:

  • Seniority and tenure;
  • Qualifications, abilities and competencies;
  • Ratings on performance evaluations that have been consistently applied;
  • Restructuring and demotion without the decrease in salary;
  • Temp employees that have different terms and conditions of employment;
  • Shortage of relevant skills in a particular job classification.
  • Any other relevant factors that do not unfairly discriminate.

The graphs below show the differences in median earnings, as well as within the upper and lower percentiles.

Median monthly earnings



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