Abstract: This paper tests the empirical validity of the capital-asset pricing model (CAPM) for the South African share market. For the investigation, quarterly total returns from ten sectoral indices listed on the JSE Securities Exchange from 30 June 1995 to 30 June 2009, were used. As expressed in the securities market line, the CAPM suggests that higher risk, as measured by beta, is associated with higher expected returns. In addition, the theoretical underpinnings of the CAPM are that it explains expected excess return, and that the relationship between expected return and beta is linear. In this investigation the above-mentioned predictions of the CAPM were tested. Direct tests of the securities market line were made, using both prior betas and in-period betas. A nonparametric test was also made. Regression analysis was used to test hypotheses based on both individual sectoral indices and portfolios constructed from those indices according to their betas. These tests were
made for individual years as well as for all periods combined. It was found that while, on the assumption that the residuals of the return-generating function are normally distributed, the CAPM could be rejected for certain periods, the use of the CAPM for long-term actuarial modelling in the South African market can be reasonably justified.