Average Oncologist Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Oncologist Salary in South Africa is R87,500 per month. An entry-level Oncologist earns a salary range of R51,200, a Mid-career level earns about R90,150, and a senior/experienced level earns R120,000 per month.

Average Oncologist Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Oncologist 51,200
Mid-Career Oncologist 90,150
Experienced Oncologist 120,000

Types of Oncologists and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, oncology is a crucial field in the medical landscape, addressing the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer. Various types of oncologists specialize in different aspects of cancer care, each playing a unique role in the comprehensive approach to combating this disease.

1. Medical Oncologists

Medical oncologists are primarily involved in the systemic treatment of cancer, which includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and hormone therapy. They work closely with other specialists to design personalized treatment plans based on the type and stage of cancer.

2. Surgical Oncologists

Surgical oncologists focus on the surgical management of cancer. They perform biopsies for diagnosis, tumour removal surgeries, and other procedures to alleviate symptoms or improve the effectiveness of other treatments. Collaboration with medical and radiation oncologists is common for a multidisciplinary approach.

3. Radiation Oncologists

Radiation oncologists specialize in the use of radiation therapy to target and destroy cancer cells. They design treatment plans, administer radiation, and monitor patients throughout therapy. Coordination with other oncologists ensures a comprehensive treatment strategy.

4. Pediatric Oncologists

Pediatric oncologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in children. Their approach is tailored to the unique needs of pediatric patients, considering the impact of cancer and its treatments on growth and development. Collaboration with other specialists is crucial for holistic care.

5. Gynaecologic Oncologists

Gynaecologic oncologists focus on cancers of the female reproductive system. They are skilled in surgical interventions specific to gynaecological cancers and work closely with medical and radiation oncologists to provide comprehensive care. Their expertise extends to managing complex cases.

6. Hematologist-Oncologists

Hematologist-oncologists specialize in cancers of the blood and blood-forming tissues. They manage conditions like leukaemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. These specialists often administer chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and stem cell transplants as part of their treatment repertoire.

7. Palliative Care Oncologists

Palliative care oncologists focus on enhancing the quality of life for cancer patients, especially those with advanced or incurable diseases. They address symptoms, provide pain management, and offer emotional support. Palliative care oncologists work collaboratively with other oncologists to ensure a holistic approach to patient care.

8. Research Oncologists

Research oncologists are involved in clinical trials and studies to advance cancer treatment and understanding. They contribute to the development of new therapies, drugs, and treatment modalities. Their work is essential for pushing the boundaries of oncological knowledge and improving patient outcomes.

In South Africa, a multidisciplinary approach involving collaboration among these diverse oncologists is crucial for providing comprehensive cancer care. This collaborative effort ensures that patients receive personalized and effective treatment strategies, taking into account the specific characteristics of their cancer and individual health needs.

Factors Affecting Oncologist Salaries in South Africa

Oncologists in South Africa, like in many other countries, are medical professionals specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Various factors influence the salaries of oncologists in South Africa, reflecting the complex interplay of economic, social, and healthcare dynamics. Here is a detailed analysis of the key factors affecting oncologist salaries in the region:

1. Experience and Expertise

Oncologists with extensive experience and specialized expertise often command higher salaries. Accumulated knowledge, successful treatments, and a robust reputation contribute to increased earning potential.

2. Geographic Location

Salaries can vary significantly based on the geographic location of the oncologist. Urban areas with higher living costs and a greater demand for specialized medical services generally offer higher compensation compared to rural areas.

3. Institution Type

Oncologists working in private hospitals or specialized cancer treatment centres typically earn higher salaries than those employed in public hospitals or clinics. The financial resources and patient demographics of different institutions influence compensation packages.

4. Public vs. Private Practice

Oncologists in private practice often have more control over their pricing structures and patient volume, potentially leading to higher incomes. Public sector oncologists, on the other hand, may be subject to government salary scales.

5. Patient Load

The number of patients an oncologist serves can impact their earnings. A higher patient load, often associated with urban areas or specialized centres, may contribute to increased income but can also lead to a more demanding workload.

6. Education and Training

Academic qualifications and continuous professional development can positively affect oncologist salaries. Subspecialty training, research publications, and involvement in medical education may enhance an oncologist’s market value.

7. Market Demand

Regional demand for oncologists plays a crucial role in determining salaries. Areas with a scarcity of specialized medical professionals may offer higher compensation to attract and retain qualified oncologists.

8. Economic Conditions

The overall economic health of the country influences healthcare budgets, which, in turn, affects oncologists’ salaries. Economic downturns or budget constraints may impact compensation levels in both public and private sectors.

9. Negotiation Skills

An oncologist’s ability to negotiate their employment terms, including salary, benefits, and work hours, can significantly impact their overall compensation package.

10. Government Policies

Healthcare policies and government initiatives related to cancer treatment can impact salaries. Funding allocations, reimbursement rates, and regulatory frameworks all contribute to the financial landscape for oncologists.

How to Become an Oncologist in South Africa

To become an oncologist in South Africa, one must follow a rigorous educational and training path. Here is a detailed guide on the steps to become an oncologist in South Africa:

Educational Requirements

1. Undergraduate Education:

Start by completing a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as Medicine or Biological Sciences. This typically takes about 3 to 4 years.

2. Medical School:

After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, aspiring oncologists need to attend medical school. In South Africa, this usually takes 4 to 6 years, depending on the program. Common programs include the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree.

Internship and Community Service

1. Internship:

After graduating from medical school, graduates must complete a two-year internship at a recognized medical institution. This is a hands-on training period where doctors gain practical experience in various medical specialities.

2. Community Service:

Following the internship, medical graduates are required to fulfil one year of community service. This involves providing medical care in underserved areas under the supervision of experienced healthcare professionals.

Specialization in Oncology

1. Residency Training:

To become an oncologist, doctors must undergo specialized training in Internal Medicine. This residency program typically takes about 4 years and includes rotations in various medical specialities.

2. Oncology Fellowship:

After completing the Internal Medicine residency, aspiring oncologists need to undertake a fellowship in Medical Oncology or Hematology-Oncology. This fellowship provides in-depth training in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Certification and Registration

1. Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA):

Oncologists must be registered with the HPCSA, the regulatory body for healthcare professionals in South Africa. This involves meeting specific criteria and passing relevant examinations.

2. Colleges of Medicine Examination:

Aspiring oncologists may need to pass examinations conducted by the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa to demonstrate their proficiency in oncology.

Continuing Professional Development

1. Ongoing Training:

Oncologists are required to engage in continuous professional development to stay updated with the latest advancements in oncology. This may involve attending conferences, and workshops, and participating in research activities.

Career Path

1. Job Placement:

After completing all the required training and obtaining the necessary certifications, oncologists can seek employment in hospitals, cancer centres, or private practices.

2. Building a Career:

Oncologists can further specialize in specific areas of oncology, participate in clinical trials, and contribute to research in the field. Building a successful career may involve establishing a private practice or becoming involved in academic medicine.



The average Oncologist Salary in South Africa is R87,500. Understanding these multifaceted factors that affect oncologists’ Salaries is essential for both aspiring oncologists and policymakers to ensure fair compensation, equitable distribution of medical professionals, and the provision of quality cancer care across South Africa.

Becoming an oncologist in South Africa is a demanding but rewarding journey that requires dedication, years of education and training, and a commitment to ongoing professional development. It is crucial for aspiring oncologists to stay informed about the evolving landscape of cancer treatment and to provide compassionate care to patients facing the challenges of cancer.