Minimum Wage and Learnership Stipend. minimum wage of R23,19 per hour will increase to R25,42 per hour (an increase of approximately 9,6%), with effect 1 March 2023. This post tables minimum stipend levels and covers salary trends across trades and occupations such as teachers and plumbers.
How Are Minimum Wages and Stipend Rates Calculated?
Department of Labour Establishes Minimum Wages
Companies can pay more than the minimum level. Minimum levels are to prevent companies from completely exploiting the youth and paying less than a living wage.
Learnerships and apprenticeships are subsidised. This facilitates unemployed participants who are unable to access traditional tertiary study. They can be absorbed into the workforce for training and gain work-based experience i.e. they learn and earn at the same time.
New National Minimum Wage for Workers
The Department of Employment and Labour has published the new National Minimum Wage for South Africa.
The minimum wage of R23,19 per hour will increase to R25,42 per hour (an increase of approximately 9,6%), with effect 1 March 2023. The new minimum also outlines the minimum wage for workers in certain sectors.
- Farm workers will earn a minimum in line with the rate, as will domestic workers. However, workers employed in expanded public works programmes will be entitled to a lower rate at R13.97 per hour.
- The National Minimum Wage excludes allowances that are paid to enable employees to work (such as transport and equipment), or payment in kind (such as board or accommodation), as well as bonuses, tips, or food. An employer cannot argue to pay an employee less than the minimum wage because they contribute to uniforms or provide meals.
- The National Minimum Wage is the lowest level of pay allowed. The national minimum wage applies to all workers i.e., any person who works for another person and who receives or is entitled to receive any payment for that work.
Minimum Wage and Learnership Stipend
Learnership Pay is Termed a Stipend
The legislation sets minimum levels. Employers determine the final amount or maximum. They can pay you as MUCH as they choose or can afford. It should also be noted that just as salaries range from employer to employer and from sector to sector – so do stipends.
Some learners earn the bare minimum because they accepted it and couldn’t or didn’t negotiate a rate based on their real expenses. These learners either have to leave the programme or accept what they signed up for and be professional about it.
Allowances for Learners with Disabilities
It’s fantastic to point out that there are special provisions for learners with disabilities. Employers who take on disabled candidates must accommodate them so that all needs are catered to. So if someone is in a wheelchair, the company must ensure they have full access to amenities and are comfortable in the workplace areas they must operate in.
Learners receive additional allowances for assistance such as a transport as they may not be able to use conventional public transport. In return, the employer receives more tax rebates. It may sound unfair to some, but if you think about how hard it is for able-bodied people to succeed, you won’t believe the number of challenges and dire poverty experienced by our disabled community. A post on learner complaints includes a letter template for an unhappy learner.
Employers cannot pay learners less than the amounts shown in the table, but they can pay more!
Last Minimum Pay Scales
- Valid February 2023
- Minimum wage with effect from March 1, 2022
- Minimum wage with effect till February 28, 2023
- The amounts are in South African Rand.
South Africa has a government-mandated minimum wage.
No worker in South Africa can be paid less than this mandatory minimum rate of pay. The national minimum wage only exempts three categories, namely domestic workers, farm workers and expanded public works.
Employers in South Africa who fail to pay the Minimum Wage may be subject to punishment by the government of South Africa.
Wages per month are calculated as 4.33 times if a weekly wage is defined. It is calculated as 4.33 times the standard hours per week if an hourly wage is given.
Learnership Stipend Amounts
Employers cannot pay learners below a specific minimum.
View the table here: Learnership stipend rates table
- Employers must pay learners not later than 7 days after
- completing a period of work; or
- terminating their learnership.
- Calculating Pay and Allowances
- A learner’s pay is calculated according to the number of hours.
Click here for the latest salary review report from Career Junction.
Minimum Wage and Learnership Stipend: of Job Salaries (2014)
Office Administration and Management
Office Administrator Pay
- Business Administration Learnerships are popular programs offered by corporates in a range of sectors. Let’s take a look at a typical Office Administrator profile in South Africa.
- The average salary for an Office Administrator is R98,633 per year. People in this job generally don’t have more than 20 years of experience and even if they do, this often doesn’t mean much and they will be offered a similar salary to someone with less experience. If you have the following skills, you could negotiate a better package for this job: Data Entry, Accounts Payable, Typing, Office Management, and Human Resources.
- According to PayScale Human Capital, office administrators earn the most in Sandton, Richards Bay, Pretoria, and Johannesburg (in that order) and the least in Port Elizabeth. They earn the same in Cape Town and Durban.
Office Manager Salary
- The average salary for an Office Manager is R155,832 per year. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years of experience in this field. Experience has a moderate effect on pay for this job. The highest-paying skills associated with this job are Project Management, Bookkeeping, People Management, and Administration.
- The highest earners are in Sandton, Johannesburg and Cape Town with Pretoria and Durban in the lower margins.
Read the latest list of critical skills.
Minimum Wage and Learnership Stipend for Trades and Bus Drivers
Check our post on Apprenticeships for more on how much trades are paid.
- The average rate for a Boilermaker is R80.39 per hour. The skills that increase pay for this job the most are Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Welding, Plant Maintenance, and Maintenance.
- Boilermakers earn the most in Rustenburg and Witbank and the least in Durban and Cape Town.
A Plumber earns an average salary of R97,851 per year. Experience has a moderate effect on pay for this job. People in this job generally don’t have more than 20 years experience.
- An Electrician earns an average salary of R206,974 per year. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years of experience in this field. Experience has a moderate effect on income for this job. The skills that increase pay for this job the most are Plant Maintenance and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) / Automation.
- Electricians earn the most in Witbank and Rustenburg and the least in Pretoria and Port Elizabeth.
Bus Driver Salary
The average salary for a Bus Driver is R97,085 per year. People in this job generally don’t have more than 10 years’ experience.
Salary for Tour Guide, Teachers and Television Presenters
Tour Guide Pay
A Tour Guide earns an average salary of R105,582 per year. Most people with this job move on to other positions after 20 years in this career.
A Teacher earns an average salary of R176,376 per year. The pay range starts at around R80k per year for those at entry level to R280k for those with more than 20 years of experience.
Television Presenter Salary
The average pay for a Television Presenter is R237,287 per year but it can range from R36k to R490k.
Minimum Wage and Learnership Stipend: to Find Salary Reviews
- The Career Junction Salary Survey is compiled exclusively for South African job seekers and HR/Recruitment personnel to give a true representation of salaries in South Africa. It contains up-to-date salary information as well as regional differences in remuneration using actual salary offerings on the CareerJunction website (28,000+ jobs monthly) for the latest measurable period. This means that they have created a comparison of salaries based on jobs advertised on their site.
- Salary reports are easy to read and help you understand what different jobs pay. When you apply for a learnership, remember that you are being employed for the duration of your program in order to learn about a particular job or industry and become qualified. It is hoped that this will increase your chance of employment. A stipend is not a salary.
- Stipends are paid to assist you. If a company has received funds to run your learnership they will be required to prove how the money was spent. If you are already an employee and your company places you on a learnership – you are not paid a stipend in addition to your salary. A stipend is a grant given to unemployed people whilst on a learnership.
- Read salary reports each year to remain updated on trends.
- Research pay before a job interview.