How much money MTN, Vodacom and Telkom’s bosses earn each day

Telkom has published its annual report for the 2019 financial year revealing how much its chief executive officer (CEO) was paid.

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko ended the year with a R23.2 million paycheque, comprising a guaranteed salary of R8.3 million, a bonus of R7 million and a vested share payout of R5.3 million as part of his long-term incentive. Dividends paid on unvested shares totalled R2.56 million.

Maseko’s pay is the lowest among the mobile operators, behind Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub, and MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter.

For the financial year ended March 2019, Joosub saw his total package decrease by 24% in 2019 compared to the prior year, taking home a final pre-tax paycheque of R38.3 million (down from R50.3 million in 2018).

His basic salary increased to R11.28 million (from R10.5 million before), but saw a smaller payout from both short-term (STI) and long-term incentives (LTI), with were 21% and 46% lower than the prior year, respectively.

Joosub’s STI totalled R9.79 million, with his LTI coming to R12.2 million. He also received dividend payouts of R5 million.

MTN CEO Rob Shuter was the highest earner among the mobile operators, taking home a total salary of R42.92 million, including a basic salary of R15.28 million and bonuses and other benefits exceeding R26 million.

Shuter’s salary is 85 times larger than the average salary paid to employees in the period (R504,911, including bonuses and benefits), and around 170 times larger than the average salary in South Africa

Cell C is not a listed company and thus does not divulge its remuneration schedules for its executives. However, the company forms part of Blue Label Telcoms, which is also a listed entity in the South African telco space.

For full year 2018, Blue Label co-CEOs, Brett and Mark Levy were each paid a total of R23.97 million – including a base salary of R8.5 million, and long-term share incentives of R14 million.

Per day earnings

Presented in their totals, the CEO salaries are large numbers that don’t hold much meaning for everyday South Africans.

Expressed as per-day earnings puts it into a better context to understand how well remunerated these executives are.

The latest available Quarterly Employment Survey from Stats SA, shows that the average employee in South Africa earns R21,190 per month, or R258,280 a year. Per day, (over 365 days) this is just over R700.

By comparison, South Africa’s highest paid telco CEO, Rob Shuter, earned R117,600 a day – 168 times more.

The table below shows how much SA’s telco CEOs earned every day in the last financial year.

Executive Company Total Salary Per day (365)
Rob Shuter MTN Group R42 923 000 R117 600
Shameel Joosub Vodacom R38 267 997 R104 840
Brett/Mark Levy Blue Label Telecoms R23 973 000 R65 680
Sipho Maseko Telkom R23 179 782 R63 510
South African average R258 280 R710

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

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How much money MTN, Vodacom and Telkom’s bosses earn each day