Average CFO Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average CFO Salary in South Africa is R66,270 per month. An entry-level CFO earns a salary range of R83,137, a Mid-career level earns about R91,061, and a senior/experienced level earns R95,429 per month.

Average CFO Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level CFO 83,137
Mid-Career CFO 91,061
Experienced CFO 95,429

Types of CFOs and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) play a crucial role in navigating the complex financial landscape of businesses. Several types of CFOs exist, each with distinct functions that contribute to the overall financial health and strategic direction of organizations.

1. Traditional CFOs

Traditional CFOs in South Africa focus on financial reporting, budgeting, and compliance. They ensure accurate and timely financial statements, manage audits, and adhere to regulatory requirements. Their function is pivotal in maintaining financial transparency and accountability.

2. Strategic CFOs

Strategic CFOs go beyond the traditional financial role. They actively participate in shaping the company’s overall strategy, offering financial insights for decision-making. They analyze market trends, assess risks, and provide guidance on investments, mergers, and acquisitions, aligning financial goals with the broader business objectives.

3. Transformational CFOs

In a rapidly evolving business environment, transformational CFOs drive change and innovation. They leverage technology, streamline processes, and implement financial systems that enhance efficiency. These CFOs play a key role in digital transformation, ensuring the organization remains competitive and adaptable.

4. Risk Management CFOs

South African CFOs dealing with risk management focus on identifying, assessing, and mitigating financial risks. This includes currency fluctuations, market volatility, and geopolitical uncertainties. They implement risk management frameworks to safeguard the company’s financial stability.

5. Compliance and Governance CFOs

Given the importance of governance in South Africa, CFOs specializing in compliance and governance ensure adherence to local and international regulations. They establish robust internal controls, ethical standards, and governance frameworks to mitigate legal and reputational risks.

6. Sustainability CFOs

With an increasing emphasis on corporate social responsibility, sustainability-focused CFOs integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into financial strategies. They ensure the company’s financial decisions align with sustainable practices, fostering long-term resilience.

7. Operational CFOs

Operational CFOs concentrate on optimizing day-to-day financial operations. They enhance efficiency in financial processes, manage cash flow, and oversee cost controls. This type of CFO is instrumental in achieving operational excellence and maximizing financial performance.

The diverse landscape of CFO roles in South Africa reflects the multifaceted demands of modern businesses. CFOs must balance traditional financial responsibilities with strategic foresight, risk management, and a commitment to sustainability. The dynamic nature of the South African business environment necessitates CFOs to adapt and embrace multifunctional roles to ensure the financial success and sustainability of their organizations.

Factors Affecting CFO Salary in South Africa

The salary of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in South Africa can be influenced by several factors, including:

1. Company Size and Industry

The size and industry of the company have a significant impact on CFO salaries. CFOs in larger companies or those in industries with higher revenue potential (e.g., finance, technology, mining) generally earn higher salaries than those in smaller companies or less lucrative sectors.

2. Experience and Qualifications

CFOs with more years of experience and higher qualifications, such as advanced degrees (e.g., MBA, CPA, CFA), tend to command higher salaries. Proven track records of success in previous CFO or senior financial roles can also lead to higher compensation.

3. Geographic Location

Salaries can vary by geographic region within South Africa. CFOs in major cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban often earn more than those in smaller towns or rural areas due to differences in the cost of living and demand for talent.

4. Company Performance

The financial health and performance of the company can directly impact the CFO’s compensation. If the company is thriving and growing, CFOs may be rewarded with bonuses, stock options, or performance-based incentives.

5. Responsibilities and Scope of the Role

The CFO’s scope of responsibilities can vary widely. CFOs who have broader responsibilities, such as overseeing multiple departments or business units, may receive higher compensation than those with more narrowly defined roles.

6. Market Conditions

Economic conditions and market trends can influence CFO salaries. For example, during economic downturns or periods of financial uncertainty, companies may be more conservative with executive compensation.

7. Negotiation Skills

A CFO’s ability to negotiate their compensation package can also impact their salary. Skilled negotiators may secure higher salaries, bonuses, or other benefits as part of their employment agreement.

8. Company’s Financial Performance

A significant portion of a CFO’s compensation may be tied to the company’s financial performance, such as bonuses based on achieving specific financial targets or stock options linked to the company’s stock price.

9. Industry Demand

High-demand industries or sectors may offer more competitive salaries to attract top financial talent. For example, industries experiencing rapid growth or undergoing significant regulatory changes may need CFOs with specialized expertise.

10. Corporate Governance and Compliance

CFOs in industries with strict regulatory requirements or complex compliance issues may be compensated at a higher rate due to the specialized knowledge and responsibility required to ensure compliance.

11. Longevity and Loyalty

In some cases, CFOs who have been with a company for an extended period may receive salary increases as a reward for their loyalty and long-term commitment.

How to Become a CFO in South Africa

Becoming a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in South Africa, as in many other countries, typically requires a combination of education, experience, skills, and career progression. Here are the steps you can take to pursue a career path to become a CFO in South Africa:

1. Educational Qualifications

– Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree: Start by earning a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as accounting, finance, business administration, economics, or a related discipline. Many CFOs have backgrounds in accounting or finance.
– Consider Advanced Degrees: While not always required, pursuing a master’s degree like an MBA, MCom (Master of Commerce), or a relevant postgraduate qualification can enhance your qualifications and career prospects.

2. Gain Practical Experience

– Start in Entry-Level Positions: Begin your career in entry-level finance or accounting positions, such as a junior accountant, financial analyst, or auditor. This experience will provide you with a strong foundation in finance and accounting principles.
– Progress to Mid-Level Roles: As you gain experience, aim for mid-level positions like senior accountant, financial manager, or finance manager, where you’ll have more responsibility and leadership opportunities.
– Obtain Professional Certifications: Pursue professional certifications such as Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to your profession.

3. Develop Key Skills

– Leadership and Management: CFOs need strong leadership and management skills to oversee finance teams and guide financial strategies.
– Financial Acumen: Develop a deep understanding of financial principles, accounting standards, and financial reporting.
– Strategic Thinking: CFOs are often responsible for shaping a company’s financial strategy, so they need strategic thinking and planning skills.
– Communication: Effective communication is crucial for CFOs as they need to convey complex financial information to various stakeholders, including non-finance professionals.

4. Networking

Build a professional network within the finance and business communities. Attend industry conferences, join professional organizations, and seek out mentors who can provide guidance and support in your career development.

5. Career Progression

– Aim for Roles with Increasing Responsibility: Seek out roles that offer increasing responsibility and leadership opportunities. These could include positions like Financial Director, Finance Vice President, or Controller.
– Gain Industry-Specific Experience: Consider gaining experience in the specific industry or sector you are interested in. Different industries may have unique financial challenges and regulations.
– International Experience: If possible, international experience or exposure to global finance can be valuable, especially if the company operates internationally.

6. Aspire to the CFO Role

Set your sights on becoming a CFO and work toward positions that align with this goal. Develop a reputation for excellence in your field and showcase your ability to contribute strategically to your organization’s financial success.

7. Continuous Learning

Stay updated on industry trends, regulatory changes, and evolving financial technologies. Continuous learning is essential for CFOs to adapt to changing business environments.

8. Apply for CFO Positions

When you believe you have the necessary qualifications and experience, start applying for CFO positions that match your skills and career goals.



The average CFO Salary in South Africa is R66,270 per month. Becoming a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in South Africa involves a multi-faceted journey. Start with a relevant degree, gain experience, and earn professional certifications. Focus on honing leadership, strategic thinking, and communication skills while networking and seeking career advancement opportunities.

Industry-specific knowledge and international experience can be assets. Ultimately, aim for roles with increasing responsibility, working towards your goal of becoming a CFO. Continuous learning and adaptability are crucial in this dynamic field. Becoming a CFO is a long-term enendeavourbut with dedication, it’s an achievable and rewarding career path in South Africa.