Software developer salaries – Johannesburg vs Cape Town

OfferZen‘s 2019 salary analysis for software developers in South Africa reveals that developers in Cape Town are generally better paid than those in Johannesburg.

The report is based off a larger data set than the 2018 analysis and uses data collected from OfferZen’s curated marketplace.

“At the start of 2018, our data showed that Capetonian junior developers earned an average of 14% more than junior developers in Johannesburg,” said OfferZen.

“Now, when we look at the latest data, it shows that junior developers earn an average of R24,000 in Cape Town and R23,000 in Johannesburg.”

There have been more bootcamp and degree graduates using the platform this past year, and as a result the average junior developer salaries in Cape Town are lower for 2019.

Cape Town experience

“Capetonian developers earn more than their counterparts in Johannesburg until roughly the four-year-experience-mark,” OfferZen said.

“Capetonian developers with 2-4 years of experience earn an average of R40,000 per month whereas Johannesburg developers with the same amount of work experience under their belts earn an average of 9% less.”

The data also shows that developers in Cape Town are more likely than developers in Johannesburg to stay at their first job for more than one year.

“It could be then that the competition to hire developers with 1-2 years of experience in Cape Town causes a spike in average salary,” OfferZen said.


Average salaries – Cape Town vs Johannesburg

Average salaries offerzen 2019


Average salaries – With quartiles

OfferZen conducted an in-depth salary analysis by including the 25th and 75th percentile salaries to provide better context.

This better illustrates the distribution of the data and helps portray the overlap between the two regions.

Average Salaries OfferZen 2019 Quartiles


Average salaries – Purchasing power

“When drawing a comparison between Johannesburg and Cape Town, we realised that, although salary typically increases with years of experience for Capetonian developers, so does cost of living,” OfferZen said.

After adjusting for cost of living, the data reflects that developers in Johannesburg have better purchasing power.

“This means that you would only need to earn R36,000 per month in Johannesburg to get the same spending power as someone earning R39,500 in Cape Town,” the company said.

OfferZen said the report should serve as a guideline only, and that the size of one’s salary is a personal conversation which should take place between an employee and an employer.

Average salaries offerzen 2019 COL


Now read: Why it is so great to be a game developer in South Africa

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Software developer salaries – Johannesburg vs Cape Town