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Jobs SA companies need most – and what they pay



According to the latest findings from online job aggregator Adzuna, STEM skills are still high in demand in the South African job market and still offer job seekers some of the best opportunities as far as job stability and average salaries are concerned. 

To get an idea of the current rareness of job skills and demand for high-paying skills from employers, Adzuna analysed a sample of the job titles currently being advertised online. The results indicated that there is a high demand for developer and financial management skills in the job market.

Even though the rareness factor of IT skills across some positions has dipped, the demand for technical skills is still high and the supply of experienced skills is still scarce. According to the latest findings, surveyors and mechanical engineers are currently earning the highest salaries in the country, with java developers takin home 3% less in annual earnings than they did in 2019. 

Job Skill / TitleAverage Salary 2019Average Salary 2020Pay Increase Per YearPercentage Increase Per Year
surveyorR 623,665R 583,242-R 40,423-7
mechanical engineerR 572,578R 579,950R 7,3721
java developerR 582,218R 569,669-R 12,549-2
software engineerR 562,339R 561,925-R 4140
engineerR 590,053R 561,064-R 28,989-5
IT managerR 533,876R 546,876R 13,0002
technologistR 549,318R 544,017-R 5,301-1
pharmacistR 606,851R 543,187-R 63,664-12
financial managerR 529,870R 533,347R 3,4771
analystR 548,159R 518,638-R 29,521-6

When looking at the “rareness” factor, Adzuna found that the titles with the highest demand and lowest supply of skills in the country could be found in the financial sector with the demand for financial managers and accountants far outstripping supply. 

To understand which jobs were highest in demand at the start of 2020, Adzuna compared the number of live vacancies with the number of unique searches for each skill. Jesse Green, country manager for Adzuna SA says that up to 65% of the rarest skills within the country still fall under the tech industry umbrella but also noted that most online job ads are within the tech sector. Other industries that have a greater demand than skill supply include managerial and financial fields. 

Green goes on to explain that: “Although the data only analyses online job ads, we were able to draw a conclusive inference that South African companies are having a hard time finding and retaining rare tech and financial management skills. By looking at the supply and demand for job skills, we have a better overall understanding of which jobs are the highest in demand and, in turn, offer the most rewarding salaries.” 

Job Skill / TitleRareness Factor January 2019Rareness Factor January 2020Rareness Factor Change Since 2019
financial manager67.5283.0-215.5
php developer153.056.896.2
java developer38.145.47.3

The list below gives some insight into the rarest skills according to Adzuna’s research.

1. Financial Manager

Rareness factor: 283

For every 283 job adverts on Adzuna, there was one job seeker. Although this is not the highest-paid position in the country, it is by far one of the rarest skills within the SA job market. 

Average salary: R533,347

2. Accountant

Rareness factor: 69.6

The rareness factor for accountants increased year-on-year (much the same as that of financial management skills), seeing just one applicant for every 69 jobs posted online. Accounting skills dropped out of the race for a spot in the top 10 highest paid jobs in the country with an average annual salary of R430,564 on offer. 

Average salary: R430,563

3. Recruiter

Rareness factor: 57.6

There was only one job seeker with applicable skills for every 57 recruitment jobs posted online at the start of 2020. Like financial management and accounting, recruitment is one of the only top three rareness factor subclasses that saw an increase in demand and decrease in the supply of skills even though it isn’t one of the top 10 highest paying jobs. 

Average salary: R410,926

4. PHP Developer

Rareness factor: 56.8

For every 56.8 adverts for PHP developers online, there is only one job seeker. Like most other tech skills, PHP development isn’t as rare as it was at the start of 2019 and also didn’t retain a spot in the top 10 highest paid skills in the country. 

Average salary: R434,652

5. Java Developer

Rareness factor: 45.4

Even though job seekers with java development skills took a pay cut in 2020 compared to the previous year’s statistics, there is still only one applicant per 45 java development jobs posted online. Along with job security and a less competitive job market, job seekers looking to work as java developers can also expect to take home very rewarding paychecks of up to R569,669 per year. 

Average salary: R569,669


Alexa can now read all messages

For the first time, an Alexa skill is available that makes it possible to listen to any kind of message while driving



For the first time, Alexa users can now hear all their messages and email read aloud.

Amazon’s Alexa has become a household name. The world’s most popular virtual assistant is getting smarter every day and now, with Amazon Echo Auto, it’s in cars too. 

“In today’s highly connected world, messaging in the form of emails, texts, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and work channels like Slack, are integral to our daily routine,” says Barrie Arnold, chief revenue officer at ping. “However, distracted driving is responsible for more than 25% of car crashes and thousands of preventable fatalities every year.” 

ping, a specialist in voice technology founded by Arnold and South African Garin Toren, has developed a new Alexa skill as a companion to its patented smartphone app, that enables any message type to be read aloud. Designed for safety, productivity and convenience, “pingloud” is the first skill of its kind for keeping users connected when they need a hand or an extra pair of eyes.

“The ping Alexa skill is specifically designed to help drivers stay off their phones while giving them exactly what they want – access to their messages.” says Toren, ping CEO. 

Opening up Alexa to developers has resulted in an explosion of new skills available either for free or for a fee that unlocks premium services or features. These tools magnify the usefulness of Alexa devices beyond common tasks like asking for the weather, playing music or requesting help on a homework assignment. According to App Annie, the most downloaded apps in 2019 were Facebook Messenger, Facebook’s main app and WhatsApp, highlighting the importance of messaging. 

“The ping Android app is available worldwide from the Google Pay Store, reading all messages out loud in 30 languages,” says Toren. “The iOS version is in global beta testing with the US launch coming very soon.” 

Once you’ve signed up for ping, it takes a few seconds to link with Alexa, enabling all messages and emails to be read aloud by a smart speaker or Echo Auto device. Simply say, “Hey Alexa, open pingloud.” ping links an account to a voice profile so unauthorised users with access to the same Alexa cannot ask for the authorised user’s messages.

All major message types are supported, including Texts/SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Snapchat, Slack, Telegram, Twitter DM’s, Instagram, and all email types. Promotional and social emails are not read by default.

*For more information, visit

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Coronavirus to hit 5G



Global 5G smartphone shipments are expected to reach 199 million units in 2020, after disruption caused by the coronavirus scare put a cap on sales forecasts, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global 5G smartphone shipments will grow more than tenfold from 19 million units in 2019 to 199 million in 2020. The 5G segment will be the fastest-growing part of the worldwide smartphone industry this year. Consumers want faster 5G smartphones to surf richer content, such as video or games. We forecast 5G penetration to rise from 1 percent of all smartphones shipped globally in 2019 to 15 percent of total in 2020.”

Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, Associate Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “China, United States, South Korea, Japan and Germany are by far the largest 5G smartphone markets this year. The big-five countries together will make up 9 in 10 of all 5G smartphones sold worldwide in 2020. However, other important regions, like India and Indonesia, are lagging way behind and will not be offering mass-market 5G for at least another year or two.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The global 5G smartphone industry is growing quickly, but the ongoing coronavirus scare and subsequent economic slowdown will put a cap on overall 5G demand this year. The COVID-19 outbreak is currently restricting smartphone production in Asia, disrupting supply chains, and deterring consumers from visiting retail stores to buy new 5G devices in some parts of China. The first half of 2020 will be much weaker than expected for the 5G industry, but we expect a strong bounce-back in the second half of the year if the coronavirus spread is brought under control.”

Exhibit 1: Global 5G Smartphone Shipments Forecast in 2020 1

Global Smartphone Shipments (Millions of Units)20192020
Rest of Market13941165
Global Smartphone Shipments (% of Total)20192020
Rest of Market99%85%

Source: Strategy Analytics

The full report, Global Handset Sales for 88 Countries & 19 Technologies, is published by the Strategy Analytics Emerging Device Technologies (EDT) service, details of which can be found here:

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