Johannesburg is a key destination for many Durbanites looking for a better pay deal.
Picture: Archives
Johannesburg is a key destination for many Durbanites looking for a better pay deal. Picture: Archives

KZN workers follow the money to Joburg

By Kamcilla Pillay Time of article published Dec 28, 2017

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Durban - Fancy earning a nice, fat salary in the near future? If you live in KZN, chances are you may be disappointed.

KwaZulu-Natal’s workforce regularly leaves the province, attracted by more impressive salary packages offered in Gauteng.

According to a recent research study, Gauteng’s higher salary packages have been identified as the reason behind its high rate of in-migration.

Profiling the provinces, the December edition of Fast Facts from the Centre for Risk Analysis at the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), found that among the key patterns was the continuing movement of South Africans seeking a better life away from worse-off areas to better-performing provinces.

The report provides a snapshot of South Africa’s nine provinces through the lens of key socio-economic indicators.

“Gauteng and the Western Cape are the primary destinations. Though Gauteng is the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces, covering only 1.5% of the country’s land area, it accounts for just over a third (34.1%) of the national economy, and has the highest GDP (gross domestic product) per head (R80 945),” researchers said in a statement. 

They also said it had the highest levels of in-migration – with net migration into the province between 2011 and 2016 totalling 981 290 people.

The trend was further reinforced by the findings of a recent survey by job application online portal CareerJunction.

It found that in several key sectors – including engineering and architecture; warehousing and logistics; information and communications technology (ICT); finance; marketing; and administration – Gauteng was either slightly above average in terms of its salary offerings or much higher.

The statistics gathered were based upon actual salary offerings on the website (in more than 20 000 jobs monthly) for the latest measurable period, between April 2017 and November 2017.

KwaZulu-Natal fared better in medicine and health. Gauteng and KZN seemed to be more favourable work locations for professionals in this sector.

“Salaries in these regions are just above average. Remuneration is on the lower end of the scale for professionals residing in the Western Cape where professionals can expect to earn 8 to 10% below average.”

Regionally, they found that there did not seem to be noteworthy differences in remuneration within the manufacturing and assembly sector.

Spokesperson for the KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs department Bongani Tembe said keeping skilled professionals was a priority.

“It’s one of the reasons we are accepting foreign investments into the province, so we can help create more jobs.”

He said that many companies – even if they were in the maritime sector – were headquartered in Johannesburg.

“We are trying to attract them to KwaZulu-Natal.”

Employment law expert Dunstan Farrell said salary was not the only factor considered when jobseekers sought employment.

“For example, KZN is often chosen for its lifestyle and quality of life, whereas Gauteng’s money is a big draw card.”

Labour lawyer Michael Bagraim said the survey focused on highly skilled individuals who would get jobs, no matter where they were.

“My concern is for those lacking skills. More than 55% of our youth is unemployed.”

He said increased mechanisation and computerisation was worsening the situation for this group.

“We are sitting on a powder keg: there is growth but not enough to accommodate the masses needing jobs.”

The Mercury

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