Career Resources

Where do you live? Here are SA provinces with the most job opportunities

By The Citizen

MOST of the job opportunities in South Africa are still offered in Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Gauteng represented 53% of the overall labour demand in the country in the second quarter.

According to the Pnet Job Market Trends Report for the second quarter of 2023, that provides insights into recruitment and employment trends in the South African market, the majority of international recruitment focuses on jobs in business and management, finance, IT and sales, as well as admin, office and support professionals.

This is what recruitment looked like in the provinces:

  • Gauteng: hiring activity increased across most sectors, with significant increases in hiring activity recorded in the finance, sales and business and management sectors.
  • North West: recruitment for admin professionals declined, but professionals in business and management and finance were the most sought-after.
  • Free State: demand for business and management professionals increased by 13% from the first quarter.

  • Northern Cape: a significant drop in hiring activity for admin, office and support professionals, while business and management professionals remained in high demand.
  • Western Cape: a 7% uptake in labour demand for IT professionals and an 11% increase for sales professionals.
  • Eastern Cape: demand for admin, office and support staff, as well as business and management professionals increased significantly.
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  • Limpopo: a 12% increase for business and management professionals.
  • Mpumalanga: relatively high demand levels for admin, office and support professionals, while demand for admin, office and support professionals grew by 15%.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: demand for manufacturing staff increased by 21%, while business and management professionals remain high in demand.

Job opportunities in sales or manufacturing

A snapshot of the sales sector shows that these candidates stay in their jobs for an average of three years and nine months. The candidate trends show that 69.9% are employment equity candidates, 59.7% live in Gauteng, 48.4% are willing to relocate, 37.1% have a tertiary qualification and 49% are male.

The report indicates that market-related monthly salaries for top in-demand skills are R35 037 to R44 386 for a key account manager, R16 096 to R20 202 for a sales coordinator and R5 406 to R13 402 for a telesales agent.

In the manufacturing and assembly sector, candidates stayed in their jobs on average for three years and two months, while the candidate trends show that 53.8% were employment equity candidates, 51.8% lived in Gauteng, 60.1% are willing to relocate, 38.2% have a tertiary qualification and 64% were male.

The market-related monthly salaries for top in-demand skills were R55 493 to R71 266 for a supply-chain manager, R21 932 to R27 473 for a fitter and R17 669 to R25 432 for a boilermaker.

SME sector offers the most job opportunities

The report also focuses on employment trends in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they play a crucial role in most economies, particularly in developing countries like South Africa. SMEs account for the majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development.

According to the World Bank Group, they represent about 90% of businesses and over 50% of employment worldwide. Formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of gross domestic product (GDP) in emerging economies and these numbers are significantly higher when informal SMEs are included.

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The World Bank Group estimates that 600 million SMEs will be needed by 2030 to absorb the growing global workforce, which makes SME development a high priority for many governments. In emerging markets, most formal jobs are generated by SMEs, creating seven out of 10 jobs.

SMEs are also an integral part of South Africa’s economy and according to a report by the International Finance Corporation, approximately 50% to 60% of South Africa’s workforce work at SMEs.

According to Pnet’s research, the recruitment needs of SMEs over the last 12 months indicated that skills in business and management, finance, sales, admin, office and support and information technology are most in demand across employers in the SME space.

Further research reveals the top three in-demand roles in the SME sector are sales representatives, accountants and software developers.

Sales people, accountants and software developers

The top skills required from sales representatives are sales, communication and negotiation, presentation, customer service, administration, digital, marketing, leadership and time management.

Candidates who applied for these job opportunities were 48% female and 43% male. The basic monthly salaries offered, excluding commissions and incentives, were R19 000 to R25 000 in Gauteng, R19 000 to R24 000 in KwaZulu-Natal and R18 000 to R23 000 in the Western Cape.

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The top skills for financial accountants were accounting, Pastel, Microsoft Office, Sage, SAP, taxation, communication, financial reporting, Caseware, reconciliations and Accpac.

For accountants, the gender split was 51% female and 40% male. The top qualifications sought were accounting, commerce, management accounting, business, commerce and management studies, financial management, chartered accounting and bookkeeping.

The monthly salary offering for financial accountants were R31 000 to R41 000 in Gauteng, R31 000 to R39 000 for the Western Cape and R29 000 to R38 000 for KwaZulu-Natal.

The top skills required for software developers were SQL, .Net, C#, HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Java, Asp.Net, PHP, MVC and Angular.

The top qualifications requirements were information technology, computer science, computer programming, software development and information systems. The monthly salary offerings for software developers were R45 000 to R64 000 in Gauteng, R34 000 to R66 000 for the Western Cape and R37 000 to R49 000 for KwaZulu-Natal.


  • Katlego Malope

    Katlego is a final-year student at the University of Johannesburg. Apart from bouncing molecules against each other in the Chemistry lab, she loves curating job opportunites for fellow youth. Katlego is also quite a singer!

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