South Africa has one of the biggest pay gaps in the world, where chief executives (CEOs) get paid on average 140 times more than the average employee.
According to one of South Africa’s richest men (and biggest earners), Johann Rupert, executive salaries in South Africa are justified, considering the value they bring to the companies they manage.
“It’s almost impossible to pay a top executive well enough,” Rupert said in an interviewith the Rand Daily Mail.
“Take [Shoprite CEO] Whitey Basson: how can anyone tell me that Whitey is paid too much, considering the wealth he’s created for shareholders?”
Rupert is chairman and CEO of luxury goods group Richemont, and serves as chairman of Remgro.
For his role at Richemont, Rupert received 3 million euros (3.5 million Swiss francs), which at current rates is equivalent to just under R50 million.
Similarly, Basson, who serves as CEO of Shoprite, has consistently taken home a salary of around R50 million, not taking a performance bonus.
While R50 million is a hefty salary by anyone’s standards, it is still less than a third of what South Africa’s highest paid boss earns.
SAB Miller – which recently entered into an acquisition process with brewing giant AB InBev – paid its chief executive Alan Clark R152 million (GBP7.07 million) in 2015, ranking him as best paid executive on the JSE.
Highest paid CEOs in SA
It must be noted that many of the companies listed below are not solely operating in South Africa, some are dual-listed multinationals.
Many of these CEOs are paid in British pounds or US dollars, which have favourable conversation rates against the rand.
All figures were taken from the latest annual reports (2014 and 2015), and converted at [USD 1 = ZAR 14.19] and [GBP 1 = ZAR21.50].
|Johan van der Merwe
Total salary includes benefits, short term and long term incentives and bonuses | shaded indicates full year 2015