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South African tech companies that pay the highest salaries


South African state-owned enterprises are struggling financially, and it is not difficult to see why – they pay very high salaries even though many of them are not profitable.

The latest data available from the annual reports of JSE-listed companies and state-owned enterprises reveals that ICASA and the SABC pay higher salaries than most listed companies.

ICASA had 364 employees at the end of its 2018/2019 financial year, up from 361 in the 2017/2018 financial year.

The regulator’s personnel costs increased from R283 million in 2018/2019 to R303 million in 2018/2019.

This means the average salary of ICASA employees increased from R783,966 to R832,413 over the past year. This is up from R676,004 in 2016/2017.

Despite being technically bankrupt, the SABC is also paying very high salaries. The broadcaster pays its 3,167 employees an average salary of R762,000 per year.

The SABC’s top 11 managers earned an average salary of R3.466 million per year, while senior managers received an average of R1.989 million each.

Sentech – with 531 employees – paid its staff an average salary of R702,326, while the average salary at Broadband Infraco was R694,438.

Private sector

Vodacom paid its 7,746 employees a total of R6.1 billion in salaries, which translates into an average salary of R787,503. This is up from R741,329 one year ago.

Over the last year, Telkom cut its number of full-time employees from 17,472 to 15,296 – a reduction of 12.5%.

Telkom paid these employees R10 billion in remuneration and benefits, which translates to an average salary package of R656,969.

MTN, which employs 18,835 people across Africa and the Middle East, paid its staff members an average salary of R504,380 per year.

Average salaries in South Africa

The table below shows the average salaries of prominent state-owned and listed ICT companies in South Africa.

These salaries are based on the latest data available from the annual reports of JSE-listed companies and state-owned enterprises.

While state-owned enterprises list the average personnel cost and average salary per employee, JSE-listed companies like Vodacom and Telkom do not provide this information.

In these cases, we used the company’s total staff bill and divided it by the number of employees to calculate the average salary per employee.

Average Salaries
Company Employees Average Salary
ICASA 364 R832,413
Vodacom 7,746 R787,503
MultiChoice 7,053 R779,810
SABC 3,167 R762,000
Sentech 531 R702,326
Broadband Infraco 137 R694,438
Telkom 15,296 R656,969
MTN 18,835 R504,380

Now read: Software developer salaries – Johannesburg vs Cape Town

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