Average Software Developer Salary in South Africa (2024)

The average Software Developer Salary in South Africa is R31,000 per month. An entry-level Software Developer earns a salary range of R17,883 a Mid-career level earns about R32,133, and a senior/experienced level earns R42,175 per month.

Average Software Developer Salary in South Africa

Job Title Approximate Monthly Salary (ZAR)
Entry-Level Software Developer 17,883
Mid-Career Software Developer 32,133
Experienced Software Developer 42,175

Types of Software Developers and Their Functions in South Africa

In South Africa, the field of software development encompasses various specialized roles, each contributing uniquely to the creation and maintenance of software applications. These roles are crucial for meeting the diverse needs of the rapidly evolving tech landscape in the country. Here is a breakdown of some key types of software developers in South Africa and their respective functions:

1. Web Developers

Web developers in South Africa focus on building and maintaining websites and web applications. They work with programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create visually appealing and functional online platforms.

2. Mobile App Developers

Mobile app developers specialize in creating applications for smartphones and tablets. They may work on Android or iOS platforms using languages like Java, Kotlin, Swift, or Flutter. Their goal is to deliver seamless and user-friendly mobile experiences.

3. Software Engineers

Software engineers are involved in the entire software development lifecycle. They design, develop, test, and maintain software systems. They often work with various programming languages and frameworks and may be involved in solving complex problems through algorithmic solutions.

4. Database Developers

Database developers focus on designing, implementing, and maintaining databases. They work with database management systems (DBMS) such as MySQL, Oracle, or MongoDB to ensure efficient data storage, retrieval, and management.

5. UI/UX Designers

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) designers are responsible for creating visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces. They collaborate with developers to ensure that software applications have an intuitive and aesthetically pleasing design.

6. Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers

QA engineers are dedicated to testing software to identify and rectify any issues before the final release. They use various testing methods to ensure the functionality, security, and performance of software applications.

7. DevOps Engineers

DevOps engineers bridge the gap between development and operations teams. They focus on automating and streamlining the software development and deployment processes, ensuring faster and more reliable delivery of software.

8. Cybersecurity Developers

With the increasing importance of cybersecurity, developers in this role focus on creating secure software systems. They implement measures to protect against cyber threats, ensuring data integrity and user privacy.

9. Embedded Systems Developers

Embedded systems developers work on software that is integrated into hardware components. In South Africa, this role is crucial in industries such as automotive, telecommunications, and medical devices.

10. AI and Machine Learning Developers

With the growing interest in artificial intelligence, developers in this field work on creating intelligent algorithms and machine learning models. They apply these technologies to solve complex problems and enhance software capabilities.

The diverse landscape of software development in South Africa encompasses a wide range of roles, each contributing uniquely to the advancement of technology. The collaboration among these developers is essential for creating innovative solutions that cater to the specific needs of the South African tech industry.

Factors Affecting Software Developer’s Salaries in South Africa

The software development industry in South Africa has witnessed significant growth in recent years, driven by technological advancements and an increasing demand for skilled professionals. Software developers play a crucial role in this evolving landscape, and their salaries are influenced by various factors. Understanding these factors is essential for both developers and employers seeking to establish fair compensation structures.

1. Experience and Skillset

– Seniority: Experienced developers with a proven track record often command higher salaries. Companies value the expertise and problem-solving abilities that come with years of hands-on experience.
– Specialized Skills: Developers with in-demand or specialized skills, such as proficiency in emerging technologies like blockchain or machine learning, are likely to receive higher compensation.

2. Education and Certification

A strong educational background, such as a relevant degree in computer science or software engineering, can positively impact a developer’s earning potential. Additionally, industry-recognized certifications may contribute to higher salaries.

3. Location

Salaries can vary based on the location of employment. Urban centres with a higher cost of living generally offer higher salaries to compensate for the increased living expenses.

4. Industry and Company Size

– Industry Type: Software developers working in industries with a higher profit margin, such as finance or technology, may receive higher salaries compared to those in less lucrative sectors.

– Company Size: Larger companies often have more resources to allocate to salaries, providing potential for higher compensation compared to smaller enterprises.

5. Economic Factors

The overall economic health of the country can impact salary levels. During periods of economic growth, companies may be more inclined to offer competitive salaries to attract and retain top talent.

6. Negotiation Skills

A developer’s skill in negotiating salary terms can play a significant role. Strong negotiation skills can result in more favourable compensation packages.

7. Remote Work and Flexibility

The shift towards remote work has become more prevalent, and developers who can work remotely may negotiate compensation based on the cost of living in their chosen location.

8. Company Culture and Benefits

-Work-Life Balance: Companies that prioritize work-life balance and offer attractive benefits packages may be able to attract and retain developers with slightly lower salaries.

How to Become a Software Developer in South Africa

Becoming a software developer in South Africa involves a systematic approach that combines education, skill development, networking, and staying updated with industry trends. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Educational Background

Obtain a solid foundation in mathematics and science during high school. Pursue a relevant bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field from a reputable institution in South Africa.

2. Coding Skills Development

Learn programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, or others commonly used in the industry. Utilize online platforms, coding boot camps, or local coding academies to enhance your practical coding skills.

3. Build a Strong Portfolio

Create a portfolio showcasing your coding projects. Include personal projects, open-source contributions, or any freelance work. Demonstrate a variety of skills, from problem-solving to collaboration and project management.

4. Networking

Attend local tech meetups, conferences, and networking events. Establish connections with professionals in the field. Join online communities, forums, and social media groups to stay connected with the South African tech community.

5. Internships and Work Experience

Seek internships or entry-level positions to gain practical experience. Participate in coding competitions or hackathons to showcase your skills to potential employers.

6. Continuous Learning

Stay updated with the latest technologies and trends in software development. Consider pursuing certifications or additional courses to deepen your expertise in specific areas.

7. Soft Skills

Develop strong communication and problem-solving skills, as these are essential in collaborative development environments. Showcase your ability to work well in a team and adapt to different project requirements.

8. Job Search and Applications

Utilize online job portals, company websites, and recruitment agencies to find software developer positions in South Africa. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills and experiences.

9. Interview Preparation

Prepare for technical interviews by practising coding challenges and reviewing common software development concepts. Research the specific technologies and practices used by companies you’re interviewing with.

10. Professional Development

Consider joining professional organizations related to software development in South Africa. Attend workshops, webinars, and seminars to stay informed about industry advancements.

11. Work Ethic and Commitment

Demonstrate a strong work ethic, commitment to deadlines, and a willingness to continuously improve. Be adaptable and open to learning new tools and methodologies as the tech industry evolves.

12. Career Advancement

Once employed, seek opportunities for career advancement through additional training, certifications, or pursuing higher education.

Remember that the path to becoming a software developer in South Africa requires a combination of technical proficiency, soft skills, networking, and ongoing dedication to professional growth.



The average Software Developer Salary in South Africa is R31,000 per month. In South Africa, software developers’ salaries are influenced by a combination of factors ranging from experience and education to the economic climate and negotiation skills. Employers must consider these factors to create fair and competitive compensation packages, while developers can leverage their skills and expertise to secure favourable remuneration in a dynamic and growing industry.