Highest paid CEOs in South Africa



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].

CEO Company Base Salary Total Salary
Alan Clark SAB Miller R24.4 million R152.0 million
Andrew Mackenzie BHP Billiton R24.1 million R113.4 million
Julian Roberts Old Mutual R19.6 million R90.6 million
Mark Cutifani Anglo American R26.5 million R80.0 million
Nicandro Durante BAT R24.5 million R77.7 million
Ian Hawsworth Capco R11.1 million R67.5 million
Johan van der Merwe Sanlam Investments R4.3 million R62.4 million
David Constable Sasol R17.7 million R52.0 million
Whitey Basson Shoprite R49.7 million R50.1 million
Johann Rupert Richemont R49.4 million R49.4 million
Mark Jooste Steinhoff R37.5 million R48.8 million
Simon Crutchley AVI R6.0 million R34.4 million

Total salary includes benefits, short term and long term incentives and bonuses | shaded indicates full year 2015