CAPE TOWN – South African models can earn up to a million rand a year, according to model scout Jason Smith.

Smith works at Kult Models, an agency based in Germany, Australia, and here in Cape Town.

Kult South Africa is part of the Kult Group founded by Marco Cordes in 2001.  

The agency's SA roster includes major names such as Jason Anthony and Zandre du Plessis.

Smith told Business Insider South Africa that “models are a unique breed and have a sense of ‘aspiration’ for the public to want to be like them, and clients to want them for their brands.

According to Smith, an average South African model can get up to R25 000 and even R60 000 a month, but this is after Tax.

Their paychecks are impacted heavily on whether they travel to foreign shores.

Top male models can get a starting rate of R50 000 a day and top female models can double that…that’s a whopping R100 000 a day.

Experience is paramount in this industry, according to Smith. Models will be booked consecutively if they can deliver over and over again. 

Surprisingly Smith said that international clients want more inexperienced models, with a fresh face, that they can then use exclusively. 

According to Kult Models, here is a list of models who may earn a cool million a year, based on experience and their career longevity.

Dave Rosenberg

David Rosenberg Via Instagram


Alex Binaris

Alex Binaris. Via Instagram


Jason Anthony 

Jason Anthony Via Instagram


Nicole Meyer

Nicole Meyer Via Instagram

Ansolet Rossouw


Charissa du Plessis

Charissa du Plessis Via Instagram

Smith told Business Report that there still is a big issue with diversity in the SA modeling industry. 

The increase of black models can be seen, but this growth trajectory has been prevalent only in the last 3 years, according to Smith.

In late 2017 W24 also looked at the South African Modeling industry. The publication focused on black models and their earnings in 2017.

According to W24, these are five of the top black models in SA.

Manyano Mahlakata

Manyano Mahlakata Via Instagram.

Retha Lethoko

Rethabile Retha Lethokoza. Via Instagram

Alino Katombe

Alino Katombe Via Instagram

Shante Gainsford

Shante Gainsford Via Instagram


Sean McCollet 

Sean McCollet Via Instagram


Aminat Ayinde

Aminat Ayinde Via Instagram

Do you want to be a model?

Smith said that aspiring models need to do their homework and research before they get into this industry. 

"One of the most important things to do is choosing the right agency for you", said Smith. 

"An agency that is not only reputable but also fits with an international mandate."

The top three agencies in SA for Smith is Ice Models, Boss Models, and Kult. 

One major tip is researching the models that the agency has on their books. 

Do they travel? What are their height restrictions? Do they have clients that are legitimate or ones that you would be willing to work with?

These are important questions any aspiring model needs to ask themselves, according to Smith.

-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE