The Southern African Freelancers' Association (SAFREA) has released new insights into the South African freelance landscape through its 2017-2018 SA Media Freelance Industry and Rates Report.
This annual report, the second of its kind for SAFREA, aims to understand the nature of the industry and identify some the challenges – and opportunities – for freelancers working in media and communications in South Africa.
The report also presents the rates trends for various media disciplines, including writing and editing, graphic design, social media, and photography. This is a critical tool for freelancers, enabling them to benchmark their pricing strategies and hopefully, gently nudge clients towards equitable pay.
The 2017/2018 survey was completed by almost 400 respondents, between 16 February and 16 March 2018, comprising both SAFREA members and non-members.
SA’s freelance media sector at a glance:
- Dominated by women (67%)
- Majority are 30 years +
- Most produce work for digital and online platforms
- Many rates remain unchanged from 2016/2017 figures
- Average income for the majority is still less than R10,000 per month
The report reveals that the highest concentration of media freelancers can be found in Gauteng (42%) and the Western Cape (34%). The report also shows that freelancers are highly educated and skilled; 48% of respondents hold a Bachelor’s and/or Honours degree or similar and just over 16% have a Master’s or similar. More than 53% have over 10 years’ experience within their specialty.
“Our last report (2016/2017) revealed the average freelancer income to be less than R10,000 a month. It’s disappointing to see that this is still the case,” comments SAFREA Chair, Meneesha Govender. “We know that our economy is struggling and everyone is affected, but the fact that rates for many media services remain unchanged is a concern. This has been a stagnant trend for too long.”
SAFREA continues to profile freelancers as highly skilled, professional consultants who must be viewed as an alternative channel to a highly skilled labour force which can add value to businesses and the economy.
“With the gig economy on the rise and freelancers set to become the workforce of the future, it is time to take the ‘free’ out of freelancing. SAFREA is committed to advocating for, and supporting, freelancers so that they don’t just survive, but actually thrive,” concludes Govender.
View the 2017-2018 SA Freelance Media Industry and Rates Report here.