Upwork South Africa Review

Online freelancing in South Africa has become the new normal as more people, especially the youth are joining freelancing platforms to make money by selling their skills online. One of these platforms is Upwork; an internationally renowned freelancer platform that brings together freelancers and clients from all over the world. Upwork freelancers in South Africa offer exceptional services to clients and you can search them online by city or skill.

Further reading: Upwork is a very competitive platform with many people offering the same services. Please check out our complete review of tips for making a living on Upwork

Is Upwork worth it?

  • Secure platform. Upwork is a trustworthy and secure platform where clients and contractors meet and do business
  • Payment protection. Upwork uses Escrow system that ensure you get paid for your work once delivered as agreed upon
  • Multiple payment methods. You can get paid in a number of ways including such wire transfer, Payoneer, PayPal, etc.
  • Higher-paying projects. Upwork has many highly paid jobs for freelancers than most online freelancing platforms as it is trusted by large brands such as DropBox, Facebook, Zendesk, and Microsoft

How Upwork Works

To join Upwork in South Africa, you will first need to sign up for an account (it’s free). After, create a good profile that clearly explains your academic and professional qualifications. The profile should include your portfolio (this includes work you’ve done in the past). Normally, clients hire freelancers with professional profiles. As such, it is important to keep your profile as professional as possible. Upon creating your profile, submit it and wait for feedback from Upwork regarding your application.

Once approved, you can start applying for jobs by sending out proposals for jobs posted. Landing your first job might be difficult because clients tend to hire experienced freelancers (those who have done more jobs and received positive reviews for most of them). However, this should not discourage you. Keep trying and the next job might be yours.

How to Get Paid on Upwork in South Africa

After working so hard, you will need to be paid. Upwork has two modes by which clients can pay you; hourly or by project.

Do freelancers pay tax in South Africa?: Generally, freelancers do not receive regular/fixed income, which makes it difficult to determine your total annual income and your applicable tax bracket. With Upwork, you’ll have access to your Upwork earnings as long as you complete W-8BEN form. However, you need to consult a local tax adviser about proper ways to report your Upwork income to your SARS.

Hourly Contracts

Upwork hourly contracts are based on the weekly billing cycle. These contracts will require you to keep a time log in your Work Diary (built into Upwork’s desktop app). When you start working, turn this function on and the app will keep a detailed record of your progress on a project. For hourly contracts, the billing period begins on Monday and ends on Sunday and your funds will be available for withdrawal 10 days after the billing period ends.

Fixed-Price Contracts

Upwork fixed-price contracts are based on milestones. Upon approval of a milestone, your funds are available for withdrawal after around 5 days. To withdraw your earnings, add your preferred payment method provided it is supported in South Africa.

Upwork Payment Methods

Upwork offers several payment methods to freelancers. In South Africa, you can withdraw your funds through PayPal, Payoneer, wire transfers, and local bank transfers. Find out other popular payment methods for African freelancers.

Despite being one of the cheapest and fastest platforms to send money to South Africa, Wise, formerly Transferwise, can’t be set up as a payment method and used to withdraw your funds.

Upwork Fees

Upwork takes a cut of your earnings (sliding fee) based on the total amount you bill with each client over time. The fees are as follows:

  • The first $500 you bill a client -20%
  • Total billings with a client between $500.01 and $10, 000 -10%
  • Total billings with a client that exceed $10, 000 – 5%

Top Upwork Freelancer Skills in South Africa

South Africa is one of the African countries with the best talents on Upwork and clients have rated Upwork freelancers in South Africa quite highly. They are believed to have exceptional skills and are good at what they do. If you want your work done perfectly or looking for freelance work in South Africa, the following are top skills on demand: Adobe Photoshop experts, creative writers, graphic designers, proofreaders, editors, copywriters, data entry specialists, typists, writers, Microsoft word experts, and more.

Cities with the Best Upwork Freelancers in South Africa

Cities in South Africa with the best freelancers working on Upwork include Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban, Johannesburg, Centurion, East London, Pietermaritzburg, Pretoria, Sandton, Stellenbosch, Port Elizabeth, and Johannesburg South.

Reviews from South Africa on Upwork

Most clients and freelancers who have worked together on Upwork in South Africa have left positive reviews concerning their experiences. If you want to make it on Upwork, make sure that you complete any given task on good time and in the best way possible. This way, clients will give you positive reviews that will help you land more future jobs.

Is Upwork Safe to Use in South Africa?

Yes. Upwork is a legitimate freelance platform that connects clients and freelancers in South Africa with the rest of the Upwork community around the world. You will always get paid for your work and if not, Upwork has a dispute process in case the client does not pay as agreed. If you want to enjoy working on Upwork, make sure to follow the company’s Terms of Service. Failure to comply will have your account suspended or closed completely.

Upwork Alternatives

Upwork is quite competitive and if you feel you have no much luck working here, you can check out the following alternatives provided you are a bit more tech savvy:

Final Thoughts on Upwork South Africa Review

Upwork is among the best freelance platforms that can help you make money online in South Africa. With Upwork supporting more than 5000 skills, you just need to identify your best skills and offer them the best way you can. Your success as a freelancer on Upwork will depend on your patience and hard work.

Daisy Neema is a graduate of Chuka University. She is a prolific writer and researcher and has an interest in finance. She also loves writing about businesses and startups.