The average South African’s disposable income had declined for the first time since January.

BankservAfrica head of corporate reputation Michael Rubenstein said the average disposable salary came in at R12 224 in August.

It was slightly lower than July but remained 6,1 % up on a year ago.

“The BDSI shows that real salary increases are once again becoming constrained,” he said.

It was time to tighten the belt even more.

Economist Mike Schüssler said the total value of salaries saw an increase of just over seven percent to R44,8 billion.

According to the BDSI the number of people receiving between R50 000 and R100 000 in disposable income per month grew by 24,5% year-on-year.

The next highest category, between R25 000 and R50 000, grew by 18%.

People receiving less than R4 000 in their bank account grew by 10,8%.

However, the largest category, those earning between R4 000 and R10 000, declined by nearly 2,5% year-on-year.

Schüssler said people earning between R4 000 and R10 000 per month now made up 2,6% of the total, while those earning between R10 000 and R25 000 made up 35,3% of the sample in the BDSI.

Those earning between R25 000 and R50 000 was estimated to be 8,1% and those taking home over R50 000 up to R100 000 1.5% of the total BDSI. People earning below R4 000 reflected just over 13%.

“More people are earning higher salaries, while the bottom end of the middle class – those earning between R4 000 and R10,000, is de-populating,” he said.

“It is also quite clear that the growth in the number of accounts receiving over R10 000 is growing in double digits.”

He said that although the BDSI did not include people earning over R100 000, it was interesting to note that this category had grown by 27,2 % in August year-on-year.

“The trend of more people entering the higher income brackets is partly due to above-inflation increases within these categories,” Schüssler said.