South Africa’s best and worst paying jobs – and the gap in between

Pay differentials between the highest and lowest paid corporate employees in South Africa is among the highest in the world, according to a new report.

Annual research conducted by remuneration and human resources consultancy, P-E Corporate Services, shows that the pay differential between the guaranteed pay of the CEO of a very large company  – turnover of over R15 billion and over 25,000 employees – and workers on basic skill level packages is 60:1 in 2015.

This matches the levels seen in 2013 and 2014, but is down from 62:1 in 2008. The gap in 1994, however, was at a ratio of just 39:1.

CEOs of large, intermediate, medium and small companies are respectively earning 47, 40, 30 and 23 times more in guaranteed pay than employees on basic skill level packages, P-E Corporate Services said.

It found that the ratios rise sharply when short term incentives are included, leading up to total employment cost.

In this instance, CEOs of very large companies take home as much as 84 times more than workers on basic skills level packages. This is down from 87 times in 2008, but is still sharply higher than 55 times in 1994.

Large, intermediate, medium and small company CEOs are respectively earning 66, 56, 42 and 32 times more, the report found.

It pointed out that the real pay differential disparity comes when long term incentives are included. In 2014, CEOs of the top 20% of JSE-listed companies earned 221 times more than basic skill level workers.

Worryingly, the report said that South Africa has the fourth highest pay differentials when comparing executives’ guaranteed pay with that of basic skill level workers.

Brazil is at the top of this ladder, followed by India and the UK, with South Africa and China in joint fourth place and the US next.

Martin Westcott, chairman of P-E Corporate Services, said that at a score of 65, South Africa has the second highest Gini co-efficient in the world, beaten only by Brazil. This measures how unequally income is distributed in a country, with zero meaning that income is equally distributed.

BusinessTech published a list of the country’s best paid chief executives:

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

Similarly, MyBroadband published a report highlighting lowest-paying jobs for skilled employees in SA, using data from Career Junction:

Lowest-paying jobs in SA
Sector Position Salary range (Skilled)
Admin, Office and Support Teller and Cashier R5,651 – R6,489
Admin, Office and Support Reservation and Ticketing Clerk R6,909 – R8,283
Sales Telesales and Telemarketing R8,266 – R11,653
Admin, Office and Support Switchboard and Reception R8,316 – R10,552
Admin, Office and Support Data Capturing R8,851 – R10,261
Design, Media and Arts TV/Video/Movie Operator R9,061 – R14,916
Admin, Office and Support Messenger and Postal Service R9,227 – R11,087
Admin, Office and Support Admin Clerk R9,245 – R12,583
Admin, Office and Support Client and Customer Support R9,677 – R11,411
Sales Travel Agent R9,700 – R13,587
Manufacturing and Assembly Plant and Systems Operator R9,770 – R15,167

More on pay in South Africa

South Africa’s massive wage gap

CEO pay vs performance in South Africa

What do CEOs think about their pay?

Is it unfair to pay two employees a different wage for the same job?

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South Africa’s best and worst paying jobs – and the gap in between