Mercans CountryIntel ® South Africa Payroll And HR Insights
Resource-rich and with access to a large local market and growing regional market, South Africa is an attractive country boasting robust infrastructure and efficient logistics. It remains the destination of choice for many multinationals (over 180 Fortune Global 500 are present here). Foreign companies who seek to tap into the local talent pool see favorable market access to global markets, thanks to the African Continental Free Trade Area.Download PDF
The Global Innovation Index ranks South Africa as number one in innovation in Africa. Backed by a sophisticated banking sector, the country is also a financial hub in Africa. Businesses will find South Africa fast becoming a tech hub in Africa, offering technical expertise and finance support for local businesses.
Entity Registration and Incorporation Requirements
Setting up a new business or expanding an existing one in South Africa is straightforward. Choose how your company operates from a range of entity types that suit your individual circumstance.
Banking Hours: 9.00 am to 4:00 pm from Monday to Friday and on Saturday (8:00 am to 1:00 pm)
The standard working week is from Monday to Friday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
One of the primary sources of law is the Labor Relations Act, which provides protection for employees against unfair dismissal. Minimum conditions of employment are regulated by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).
Mining, automobile manufacturing, metalworking, technology
Dates & Numbers
Official State Name
the Republic of South Africa
South African Rand (ZAR)
International Dialing Code
Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Swati, Ndebele
The national minimum wage is an instrument used to lift more South Africans out of poverty. Adjustments are made to provide exceptions or different rates for several worker groups including domestic workers, farmworkers and those employed in a public works program.
It is acceptable to provide employees with online payslips
Payroll reports must be kept for 5 years
Employees receive paid annual leave of 15 days
Employees receive paid sick leave of 10 days
An employee is entitled to four months of unpaid maternity leave and 10 days of unpaid paternity leave
Maternity & Paternity Leave
An employee’s employment can be terminated with 14 days’ notice
This salary is customary by law and payable at the end of the year
13th month salary
23.19 ZAR an hour
Overtime payment is set at 1.5x the employee's ordinary rate of pay for the weekdays and 2x for the work completed on weekends
Employees paid monthly are entitled to 7 days’ severance pay for each year of employment
South African residents are taxed on their worldwide income. Non residents are taxed on their South African sourced income and the same rates of tax apply to both residents and non residents. The social security system is not comprehensive.
Enterprise businesses can access the LBC (Large Business Center) for one-stop services to meet their tax obligations. Small businesses can access the SARS (South African Revenue Service) website for advice and support.
Corporate Income Tax
Personal Income Tax
An employee’s contribution is withheld by the employer and both employer and employee are obligated to contribute towards unemployment insurance.
Social Security Rate
Social Security Rate for Employers
Social Security Rate for Employees
Generally, employers must comply with anti-discrimination laws and respect a candidate’s right to privacy.
Most employees are employed under employment contracts. The BCEA stipulates that employers must provide written particulars of employment conditions once an employee commences work. Contracts of employment may be for either a fixed or indefinite term.
The minimum conditions of employment are regulated by the BCEA and cover working time, leave, record-keeping, termination of employment and more. Generally, an employee may not work for over 45 ordinary hours per week, total working hours per day not to exceed 12.
Parental leave is provided for 10 consecutive days (unpaid) on the birth of a child. This can also apply if the child is legally adopted or placed by a court in an individual’s care. Employees are generally granted at least three working weeks of paid annual leave.
Dismissals for certain reasons are automatically unfair. Some other dismissals may be unfair if the employer fails to prove that the reason is fair based on the individual’s conduct or capacity or based on the employer’s operational requirements.
Minimum notice period for terminating an employee
Total number of public holidays
Working hours per week
Total number of days for Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
Foreign workers cannot generally be employed unless a relevant visa has been granted such as a general work visa or critical skills work visa.
Stays for less than 90 days can be allowed on a business visitor’s visa, which may be extended for a further 90 days. Longer placements require a temporary residence work visa, a general work visa, critical skills visa or corporate worker visa.
Work Permit Validity
passport valid for at least one month after the applicant’s intended return date
proof of the applicant’s employment in South Africa
Medical documentation, such as vaccination records and radiology reports
Bank statements of the applicant to demonstrate sufficient funds
Proof of medical insurance for the duration of time to be spent in South Africa
Build the best team and hire top talent compliantly in South Africa. Get in touch with South Africa payroll outsourcing & PEO specialists for a free consultation!