How much the average employee at Telkom, MTN and Vodacom gets paid

South Africa’s three major listed telecommunication companies have released their annual reports, providing insight into the remuneration of its management and employees.

Previously, BusinessTech covered how the management teams of these companies were rewarded, led by MTN’s executive chairman, Phuthuma Nhleko who received a sum of R72.2 million for the 2016 financial year, despite the group posting the first-ever annual loss in its 22-year history.

Nhleko’s big payday makes up 0.8% of the total employee spend at MTN, which amounted to R9.2 billion for its 2016 financial year. For the group’s 19,989 employees (including contractors), this works out to R460,250 per person.

At Vodacom, CEO Shameel Joosub’s R35.65 million salary for the 2017 financial year accounts for 0.7% of the total salary payout of R5.4 billion. Averaged among the group’s 7,589 employees, however, the average is far higher than MTN’s at R715,250 per person.

Telkom CEO, Sipho Maseko received a pay of R25.9 million for the telco’s 2017 financial year, accounting for 0.2% of total employee costs – R10.9 billion – which, averaged among the company’s 20,341 employees, amounts to R535,900 per person.

Company Employees Total cost Average per employee
Vodacom 7 589 R5.4 billion R715,250
Telkom 20 341 R10.9 billion R535,900
MTN 19 989 R9.2 billion R460,250

Recent reports by auditing firms PwC and Deloitte have raised debate around the levels of executive pay in South Africa, particularly when contrasted with employee pay.

While the high averages noted above are not a true reflection of how many employees are remunerated (the figures will be skewed by management, who receive much higher salaries than general workers), they do provide a basis through which pay disparity can be measured.

In previous years, analysts have used the ‘salary gap’ to highlight the massive discrepancies between executive pay and the workers’ take – noting that South Africa in particular, ranks as one of the worst culprits when it comes to this gap.

Looking at the telcos above, this becomes apparent when looking at MTN in particular, where the group CEO, Nhleko, was paid 157 times more than the average employee.

With Vodacom and Telkom, the gap is much smaller, with both CEOs earning around 50 times more than the average employee.

Company CEO salary CEO salary as % of total Pay gap
MTN R72.2 million 0.8% 157
Vodacom R35.7 million 0.7% 50
Telkom R25.9 million 0.2% 48

Read: How your boss’ salary is calculated differently to yours

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How much the average employee at Telkom, MTN and Vodacom gets paid