Surveys & Benchmarking

21st Century has a variety of benchmarking options to suit your specific remuneration needs. No organisation is too big or too small. We will always do our best to find a solution that suits your needs and budget.

National Salary Survey

RewardOnline (our live, audited, web based national survey)

In-house Benchmarking:

Individual benchmarks

Niche Surveys:

Industry (shared cost) surveys and customised (tailor made) surveys for clients who may want a more niche set of results, either considering a unique set of jobs or a unique industry view

The value of a Salary Survey

internal and external equity

Company strategy and company performance are driven by individuals.

Good HR and Remuneration structures and practices – founded on accurate, reliable benchmarks, will engage individuals – encouraging performance that will drive your strategy. Defensible benchmarks will also ensure that you are in a position to meet all governance requirements.

Audited salary survey data paints a true picture of what’s currently happening in the remuneration environment.
Why your salary survey should be audited
Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value
The Employment Equity Act section 6, Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value, legislates that equal work (or work of similar or equal value) must now be remunerated equally …. or differentiated fairly. All policies and conditions of employment need to be scrutinised to ensure that they comply with the legislation. A survey will give you access to market data so that you can accurately benchmark the remuneration for the same/similar/equal value jobs against that of other companies/entities/organisations. It is the cornerstone of building your own unique pay scale.
A third party adds credibility to the survey. Information is more easily obtained from targeted companies when an independent party collects data.
  • Who are my comparators, for both general skills and those that are critical to the survival of my organisation?
  • Am I being offered a comprehensive overview of both fixed and variable remuneration?
  • What are the benefit practices of leading organisations in the market?
  • What are the latest trends?
  • Is there a robust sample of participants?

What type of Salary Survey should we be using?

Where do you lose your key resources to? Where do you recruit your key resources from?

The answers to these two questions will generally define which markets and/or groups your organisation will compare itself against. The market may be different for different jobs. Thus, the type of survey used will depend on the appropriate choice of comparator groups.

Do you lose your key resources to (or recruit them from) a defined industry or sector?

Industry Survey

All organisations within a particular industry are invited to become involved in the design of the survey. The costs are shared equally amongst all participants. Both the remuneration information and specific positions can be agreed at the outset.

More about our niche surveys

Do you lose your key resources to (or recruit them from) a defined comparator group?

Customised survey

An agreed comparator group is invited to participate and the survey is completely customised to your requirements. The survey could include benchmarking of remuneration and incentive practices as well as broader reward issues as dictated by the client.

More about our niche surveys

Do you lose your key resources to (or recruit them from) all industries and all regions?

Consultation and benchmarking of individual roles

In-house benchmarking – benchmark all the elements of remuneration (both fixed and variable) for unique roles based on your specific company metrics.

Compare your pay practices to those in the market.


Annual subscription to RewardOnline


Do you lose your key resources to (or recruit them from) a country where survey houses are not active?

Referenced Data

A methodology has been developed to present salary data in countries where survey data is minimal or absent. This methodology has produced an index that is based on audited data sets and measures that have been developed from a multitude of highly reputable data sources.

More about referenced data

Confidentiality Promise

Our business rests on commitment to confidentiality of data. Thus under no circumstances would any individual information or any company-specific information be disclosed to any other participant. Our business depends on our commitment to this promise.

Confidentiality promise

National Salary Survey


RewardOnline, our national web-based Salary Survey, is one of the largest and most reputable Salary Surveys in Africa, and is the only Salary Survey in Africa that is audited. Annual audits ensure that the benchmark data is valid and accurate and that our statistical process is robust.


RewardOnline gives you unlimited access – for a full year – to live remuneration data for all positions included in the survey (currently over 1000 positions) across all levels in the organisation (executive, general staff and bargaining unit staff).


Salary Survey data for all types of surveys is housed within RewardOnline.


  • RewardOnline is convenient, flexible, and easy to use
  • You can filter by the jobs that exist in your company or access the full database of jobs
  • You can select the specific percentile results you would like to see.
  • You can do market comparisons of your own organisation’s data (by job, by grade and by job family) and conduct compa ratio analyses per individual (to the market or your industry cut) or to all separate industry cuts.
  • You can customise your reports for:
    • A range of industries
    • A range of locations
    • Your organisation’s own customised grading systems
    • Your organisation’s choice of comparators
  • You can access a track record of your own data and benchmark history
  • You can export graphs to PDF and Excel
  • Different access levels can be set up so that sensitive data can be accessed only by those with permission
  • Benchmark data is audited and validated annually by SNG Grant Thornton for accuracy. RewardOnline is currently the only audited survey in Africa, providing a realistic, up-to-date picture of the current remuneration environment.
  • Data is refined to take into account a range of business metrics, including:
    • company structure and complexity
    • company size
    • industry
    • region
  • Grades (including modal grades) are market-related
  • Executive data is available for both Private Sector and State Owned Enterprises in South Africa and includes Long Term Incentive data.
  • Data is easy to submit. Submit your data once a year via Excel templates sent out by us, or via your payroll.
  • We will also send you a defined questionnaire regarding your organisation’s remuneration policy.
  • Individual job matching is done by us and the client need only validate the matching.
  • Data has been split to detail each element of pay for each position, which will enable you to accurately analyse and compare the elements that make up your organisation’s total reward mix.

Reports include:

  • Job correlation (confirmation of the job matches for your inclusion of data in the survey)
  • Benchmarks for all the elements of pay for each job
  • Compa ratio:
    • per individual to the national market
    • per individual to your industry cut
    • to all separate industry cuts
  • Total Guaranteed Package by grade (national market data)
  • Comparator group against which your organisation has been compared

Premium reports include:

  • Niche reports on remuneration trends
  • A niche analysis against your own select comparator group
  • You will also have access to the RewardOnline Library, which contains articles reflecting current remuneration trends.

Southern Africa

  • South Africa
  • National
    • State owned entities
    • Municipalities
  • Namibia
  • Lesotho
  • Swaziland
  • Botswana
  • Mozambique
  • Mauritius

East Africa

  • Kenya
  • Burundi
  • Ethiopia
  • South Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Central Africa

  • Angola
  • Cameroon
  • Congo (DRC)
  • Malawi
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

West Africa

  • Cote D’lvoire
  • Ghana
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal


  • India
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

The annual subscription fee:

  • Is all-inclusive (for all national data on the database)
  • Includes initial training
  • Includes a complete set of organisation-wide reports
  • Imposes no limit to the number of users
refresh your knowledge!
Contact us for a RewardOnline DEMO / more information

Niche Surveys

A niche survey offers the client a focused result, 
as specific comparator groups (industries, sectors, job families and other factors) can be targeted.


We currently run over 50 niche surveys annually and the survey results contribute to our formidable ever-expanding remuneration database, and allow us to present your company with a tailor-made solution.

In addition to the surveys listed on the 2019 calendar below, we will be undertaking the following surveys later this year
(dates to be confirmed):

Artificial Intelligence (Trends Survey)

Agriculture Specialists (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Book Publishing Industry (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Engineering Industry (Retention Trends Survey)

Entrepreneurial / Start-up (Remuneration Trends Survey)

Event Management / Sport Event Management (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

FMCG Industry (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Focused NGO Sector (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Game Lodges (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

HR Focus Areas (Trends Survey)

Medical Aid Administrators (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Petroleum Industry (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Performance Management Practices (Trends Survey)

Pharmaceutical Industry (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Principal Officers (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Medical Device Specialists (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Schools of Business Leadership (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

SEO Specialists (Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

South African Reward (Policies and Benefits Survey)

Past Surveys

Please check the status of 2019 surveys on the calendar below:
(open/design meeting/closed – report pending/report available)

2019 Niche Survey Calendar


HR Metrics Survey


Long Service Award Practices Survey



April 2019 Salary Increases
(Trends Survey)


Variable Pay in SOEs/SOCs Survey


Organisation Development
(Trends Survey)



(Remuneration, Attraction & Retention)


Private and Independent Schools
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Property Industry
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Fire and Rescue Industry
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)


SAP Industry
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

SETA Industry
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

NED/King IV Reporting
(Trends Survey)

Smaller, Private and Governing Body Funded Schools
(Remuneration for Academic Staff)

Laboratory Specialists
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Fruit Exporters
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)


Tax Practitioners/Auditors
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Forestry Industry
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)


(Pay Practices Survey)

On-line Stores
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)


(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

Hotel and Hospitality Industry
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)

September 2019 Salary Increases
(Trends Survey)


Law Firms
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)


Call Centre Industry
(Remuneration and Benefits Survey)


EVP Initiatives and Total Reward Practices
(Trends Survey)

In-house Benchmarking

An individual benchmark is helpful for very specific roles that need to be carefully defined and matched in the market. 

Executive benchmarks differ, dependent on the size and complexity of the organisation and the role, and it is important to define these parameters to ensure an accurate benchmark. 21st Century can assist with these customised matches, so that you are confident of the information that informs your decision-making.

An individual benchmark also enables you to request specific information, such as market data for short-term and long-term incentive practices and values.