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hire employees in

South Africa,
made easy

SALARY PAYMENT IN South African Rand (ZAR, R)




TIME TO HIRE 12 hours

Simple, compliant hiring with Horizons PEO

Hire Employees in South Africa - Overview

South Africa is one of the most developed countries in Africa, with the continent’s second-largest economy. It is a popular place for international companies to do business, with a large, young population, strong business infrastructure, and relatively low costs. While the country has over a dozen official languages, English is widely spoken, and the country enjoys good links with the rest of Africa and the wider world.

Facts & Stats

Population  59.3 million Capital City Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town Languages Spoken More than a dozen, including Zulu, Xhosa, English, and Afrikaans.
Currency Rand GDP per capita $5,090 Ease of Doing Business 84th in the world
Minimum Wage R23.19/hour Average Wage ~R24,000/month (for non-agricultural workers) Paid Leave 15 days

South Africa: Business Environment

Business outlook

South Africa recovered well from the global slump felt across 2020, and the OECD predicts economic growth of 1.8% and 1.3% in 2022 and 2023 respectively. With a young population and strong business infrastructure, it is and will continue to be a good country in which to do business.

Business regulation

South Africa’s range of labor laws govern the rights of employees in the country. For example, there are regulations covering working hours (no more than 45 hours per week), sick leave (30 days paid per six month cycle), annual leave (15 days), maternity leave (four months paid), and so forth. When hiring in South Africa, it’s important to understand and comply with those laws.

It can be beneficial to have a local South Africa hiring partner to ensure that you are in full compliance with all legal requirements for hiring in the country.

Business culture

The business culture in South Africa will not feel significantly different to that of most countries in Europe and North America.

Punctuality and politeness are expected, and dress codes are generally quite formal in the workplace, although it is also common for people to wear traditional African clothing in the workplace. Business hierarchies are quite rigid and respected, with decision-making coming from the top.

Recruiting employees in South Africa

Recruiting employees in South Africa — Overview

Recruiting in South Africa now largely takes place online, with jobs and applications being handled via job sites. Some of the most popular websites to post and find jobs include Pnet, BestJobs, and many others. Social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook are also commonly used.

Most important recruitment tools in South Africa

  • Indeed https://za.indeed.com. An international site that is especially popular in South Africa. It has free and subscription options for posting jobs and is used across all industries
  • LinkedIn https://za.linkedin.com/
    As in other countries, LinkedIn is now a major source of hiring talent in South Africa.
  • Careers24
    Careers24 is the leading South Africa job portal, advertising in all industries, but with a heavy emphasis on IT.

Interviewing employees in South Africa

Interviewing employees in South Africa– Overview

Job interviews in South Africa are generally quite formal affairs, with face-to-face interviews taking preference over remote interviews. However, online video interviews have become more common in recent years.

Can I ask the candidate’s previous salary in South Africa?

It is permitted to ask the candidate’s salary history in South Africa. However, the candidate is not required to provide that information.

What is the typical salary increase at a new job in South Africa?

While the average increase is around 5.2 percent annually, when transferring to a new job, as in other countries, it is not uncommon for employees to get a 10-15 percent salary increase on their prior role.

Onboarding employees in South Africa

Onboarding employees in South Africa – Overview

The process of onboarding employees in South Africa is largely the same as anywhere else. Practices will vary from organization to organization, but the focus should always be on making the new employees comfortable, introducing them to colleagues, and supplying necessary training and orientation without overwhelming them.

Best remote working tools to use in South Africa

Companies in South Africa have access to the same remote working tools as the rest of the world. The most popular tools include Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Trello.

Read more about important remote working tools in the workplace in our comprehensive remote work software guide.

Holiday season in South Africa — 2023

South Africa has a range of national public holidays that are celebrated annually. In 2023 these holidays are:
Date Holiday name
1 Jan Sunday New Year’s Day
2 Jan Monday Day off for New Year’s Day
21 Mar Tuesday  Human Rights Day
7 Apr Friday Good Friday
10 Apr Monday  Family Day
27 Apr Thursday  Freedom Day
1 May Monday Workers’ Day
16 Jun Friday Youth Day
9 Aug Wednesday National Women’s Day
24 Sep Sunday Heritage Day
25 Sep Monday Day off for Heritage Day
16 Dec Saturday Day of Reconciliation
25 Dec Monday Christmas Day
26 Dec Tuesday Day of Goodwill

What is the typical salary increase employees in South Africa expect?

With inflation running high, at the moment workers expect, on average, an 8% pay increase every 18 months


Both freelancers or employees are viable hiring options in South Africa. As a major digital nomad hub, there are a large number of highly qualified freelancers and contractors in locations like Cape Town available for hire.

However, as in other countries, if you are in need of longer-term and fulltime workers, it is usually necessary to hire employees. This is the only way of ensuring that you are not liable for backtaxes, unpaid contributions and fines due to ’employee misclassificiation’.

Yes, it is possible to hire foreigners in South Africa. However, it is up to you to ensure that you have the employee is legally entitled to work in South Africa with the right visa.

The key steps for opening a South Africa subsidiary are:

  • Draft Articles of Incorporation for the company
  • Create a Memorandum of Incorporation and a Notice of Incorporation
  • Open a corporate bank account in South Africa
  • Register with the tax authorities
  • Register for workers compensation (in South Africa known as ‘Occupational Injuries and Diseases Compensation’)
  • Register for unemployment insurance deductions with the Department of Labor.

There are usually two options for hiring employees in South Africa

Option 1: Open a subsidiary

The above process outlines what it takes to open a subsidiary. It is worth working with local partners to ensure that all the requirements for entity incorporation are satisfied

Option 2: Use an Employer of Record (EOR) solution

This option is usually best option for companies looking to get started in South Africa as soon as possible. The speed, low cost and compliance assurance provided by this option make a South Africa EOR solution the most efficient for international companies to hire in South Africa.

Hiring in South Africa, Made Easy

Your business can easily hire employees in South Africa without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 180+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.

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