BUSINESS NEWS - South Africans’ wallets are feeling the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic as monthly take-home pay in June 2020 crashed 20.7% from where it was a year ago.
Data from BankservAfrica, which runs the South African National Payment System, shows that up to a fifth of employees in the private sector did not receive a salary for the period.
“The 20.7% decline could be the result of job losses or it could due to a temporary pause in payments,” notes BankservAfrica.
Though the drop was steep, BankservAfrica cautioned that while the salary data couldn’t be used as a measure of the unemployment rate, it could, “in this very unusual time,” nevertheless be a useful indicator of employment on the ground through the number of salaries paid.
The data coming out of BankservAfrica is the earliest indicator of the fallout of the Covid-19 crisis on employment as Statistics SA’s latest quarterly employment statistics survey only covered the period to the end of March, so is not indicative of the full impact of the crisis.
The payment processing company warns that the true picture could be a lot worse as its BankservAfrica Take-home Index (BTPI) over-represents payments from civil servant and state-owned entity payrolls.
This can be seen in about 30% of the BTPI monthly equivalent payments being paid by the broader government sector, when compared to 21% shown in Stats SA’s Quarterly Employment Survey.
Impact on pensions
There is a similar story when pensions are included. “The BankservAfrica Private Pension Index (BPPI) declined for the second consecutive month, falling 0.3% to reach R7,355 in real terms.
“Real pensions could be declining as a result of the interest rate falls and as other assets have also struggled.”