This is what CEOs and other top executives get paid in South Africa

 ·15 Jul 2016

Executive salaries are always a hot topic, especially in a country like South Africa where pay inequality rivals countries like the USA.

PwC’s latest executive director’s remuneration trends report highlights a degree of hypocrisy involved with rewarding executives that work for JSE listed companies – where salaries increase in sectors where returns have dropped.

Contrary to practices overseas, in South Africa total guaranteed pay (TGP) is paid regardless of the performance of the company.

“The level of TGP is normally determined with reference to job grading and a job evaluation process having been carried out on the relevant job function. Affordability may be an added measure,” PwC said.

For example, despite shares in the basic resources sector almost halving in the past year, CEOs and other executives saw salary increases almost across the board.

PwC suggested and recommended that South African company boards follow the standards of international companies, and start factoring in company performance and value generation into executive remuneration decisions.

Executive pay in South Africa

Looking at the pay spectrum across the JSE, the median salary for executives has increased by 12% between 2014 and 2015 to R3.7 million.

CEOs saw the median salary jump by 10.7%, to R4.6 million, with the upper quartile seeing an 8% increase to R7.7 million.

Chief financial officers overall saw a drop in the median salary (-12.1%) to R3.4 million – but the upper quartile saw an 11% increase in total guaranteed packages to R4.6 million.

The table below shows the median salaries of executives on the JSE, as well as the upper and lower quartiles.

PWC Executive pay

Looking at the various sectors, executives in basic resources tend to get paid the most, with salaries reaching as high as R32.6 million in the upper quartile average.

However this tends to apply only to large and medium-cap companies. In lower-cap companies, executives in the service sector get paid the highest median salaries.

The tables below show the median salaries for JSE executives in large cap, medium cap and small cap companies across the listed industries. Salaries for AltX-listed companies is also included.

Large-cap companies

Sector Median CEO pay (R’000) Median CFO pay (R’000) Median Executive Director pay (R’000)
Basic Resources 21 959 10 792 15 334
Financial Services 7 050 4 592 4 076
Industrials 14 759 7 061 5 326
Services 7 724 3 913 3 301

Medium-cap companies

Sector Median CEO pay (R’000) Median CFO pay (R’000) Median Executive Director pay (R’000)
Basic Resources 7 669 5 119 3 592
Financial Services 7 050 2 266 2 593
Industrials 5 969 3 775 4 018
Services 4 969 3 998 2 849

Small-cap companies (including AltX)

Sector Median CEO pay (R’000) Median CFO pay (R’000) Median Executive Director pay (R’000)
Basic Resources 1 594 1 652 1 901
Financial Services 2 174 1 642 1 607
Industrials 3 510 2 352 2 147
Services 3 852 2 097 2 254
AltX 1 931 1 356 1 076

More on salaries

These are the cars you can afford with your salary in South Africa

What house you can afford to buy with your monthly salary in SA

How your salary will change as you gain more experience in SA

Biggest salary increases in South Africa in 2016

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter