Here’s how much money top directors in South Africa earn right now

Professional services firm PwC has published its non-executive directors report for 2022, highlighting how much top management is earning in the country right now.

The report analysed executive pay during the period from 1 September 2020 to 31 October 2021, focusing primarily on executive remuneration among companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).

Where non-executive directors have been remunerated in foreign currency, their fees have been converted into South African rand using the exchange rate at the cut-off date (31 October). As directors’ fees rarely follow a standard distribution curve, PwC used quartile/percentage range rather than averages.

The four categories of non-executive board members analysed are:

  • Chairperson
  • Deputy chairperson
  • Lead independent director
  • Non-executive director

Chairperson

An examination of all fees paid to JSE non-executive directors shows that the average salary was R1.75 million for chairpersons.

“The role of a chairperson requires a large time commitment and an increasing level of involvement as it includes additional work carried out between scheduled meetings, representing the organisation externally and interacting with fellow board members and employees,” PwC said.


Deputy chairperson

An examination of all fees paid to JSE non-executive directors shows that the average salary was R1 million for deputy chairpersons.

“Some boards include the position of deputy chairpersons. This person assists the chairperson and fills in at meetings if the chairperson is unavailable,” PwC said.


Lead independent director

An examination of all fees paid to JSE non-executive directors shows that the average salary was R1.15 million for deputy chairpersons.

The lead independent director is required to preside at all meetings of the board at which the chairperson is not present or where the chairperson is conflicted.

Their duties include calling meetings of the independent directors, where necessary, and serving as the principal liaison between the independent directors and the chairperson. Their responsibilities would also include liaising with major shareholders if requested by the board in circumstances in which the chairperson is conflicted.

“Over the last few years, we have observed that lead independent directors have begun to play a larger role on boards, taking on greater prominence and responsibility in driving board independence. This has resulted in lead independent directors fees increasing more rapidly than other positions on the board,” PwC said.


Non-executive director

An examination of all fees paid to JSE non-executive directors shows that the average salary was R1 million for deputy chairpersons.

Non-executive directors are required to make up the majority of a board’s membership and should preferably be independent, PwC said.


Super-caps

While the above data provides an overview of the average salaries across the JSE, board members at ‘super-cap’ companies – making up the top 10 of the JSE – can expect to earn substantially more.

In 2021 these companies included:

  • Prosus;
  • AB InBev;
  • British American Tobacco;
  • Naspers;
  • Glencore;
  • Richemont;
  • BHP Group;
  • Anglo American;
  • Anglo American Platinum;
  • FirstRand.

PwC’s data shows that the average salary for a chairperson at a super cap is R9.7 million, while the average salary for a non-executive director at a super cap company is R4 million.


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Here’s how much money top directors in South Africa earn right now