How much the average employee gets paid at Vodacom vs Telkom vs MTN

Update: The article has been updated with the correct 21st Century pay gap data.

MTN recently published its integrated annual report, revealing how much its top executives got paid in the financial year ended December 2018.

The group paid its top two executives a total of R65.46 million for the year, with other prescribed officers taking a combined R176.96 million for a total of R242.4 million.

Group CEO, Rob Shuter earned R42.92 million, including a basic salary of R15.28 million and bonuses and other benefits exceeding R26 million.

Across the listed mobile operators, MTN’s Shuter was not the highest paid in 2018, however, with Vodacom boss Shameel Joosub taking home a much larger salary.

For the year ended March 2018, Joosub was paid R50.3 million for the year – while Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko was paid just over half as much at R27.2 million.

A 2018 report by remuneration consultancy 21st Century found that CEOs at large cap companies earn an average basic salary of R5.35 million, with short-term and long-term incentives taken into account, this would bring the average closer to R13 million.

On a guaranteed package level, the average large-cap CEO earns around 20 times more than the average employee (R274,525), 21st Century found – but when taking the total package into account this jumps to over 47 times.

Looking at the average salaries at the three major mobile operators, the pay gaps are fairly in line with these findings.

According to MTN’s financial data, the group spent R9.5 billion on staff costs (including bonuses and benefits), averaging at R504,645 per employee. CEO Rob Shuter’s salary is 85 times greater.

Vodacom reported staff costs of R5.6 billion for 7,554 employees, equating to R741,330 per employee, while Telkom’s R10.9 billion spend on 18,286 group employees averages at R596,085 per person.

Vodacom’s and Telkom’s CEOs earn 68 and 46 times more than the average employee at their respective companies.

Average employee salary

Company Employees Staff cost (salaries and benefits) Average per employee
Vodacom 7 554 R5.6 billion R741 330
Telkom 18 286 R10.9 billion R596 084
MTN 18 835 R9.5 billion R504 645

The averages are somewhat swayed by the inclusion of the salaries of the executive teams, which can often balloon to well over R100 million at each company.

Taking all three companies into account, the average employee salary is R614,000, with the average CEO having a salary 65 times larger at R40.1 million.

Pay gaps

Company CEO salary (TGP+STI+LTI) CEO salary as % of total Pay gap
MTN R42.9 million 0.45% 85
Vodacom R50.3 million 0.90% 68
Telkom R27.2 million 0.25% 46

Vodacom and Telkom’s data reflects full year ended March 2018. MTN’s data reflects full year ended December 2018.


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