Shoprite CEO White Basson has seen his take-home salary double over the past year, with the executive pocketing R100 million in the group’s latest financial reporting.
Basson’s double-pay is thanks to a bonus he received from Shoprite for beating the company’s profit growth target for the year.
His salary included a R49.7 million rand basic salary for the 12 months through June – the same as the previous financial year – and a R50 million rand one-time performance-related bonus.
Basson hasn’t received a basic pay increase since 2013 and has had no one-time payments for five fiscal years, according to the group.
Revenue at Shoprite – Africa’s largest food retailer – in the year to June was R130.3 billion, up 14.4% year-on-year. Pre-tax profit was R6.85 billion, also up 14.4%.
The group declared a final dividend of R2.96, taking its total dividend for the year to R4.52, a 17% growth on the prior year’s R3.86.
A R100 million salary would place Basson in a small elite group of South African executives earning over R100 million, including the likes of SABMiller former CEO Alan Clark and BHP Billiton chief, Andrew Mackenzie.
R100 million-plus salaries are often only seen in companies where executives are paid in foreign currency (typically pounds).
Bernard Fornas and Richard Lepeu, Co-CEOs of Richemont, both saw salaries of over R150 million in 2015, while chairman and South Africa’s former richest man, Johann Rupert took home R50 million.
According to Rupert, executive salaries in South Africa are justified, considering the value they bring to the companies they manage.
“It’s almost impossible to pay a top executive well enough,” Rupert said in an interview with the Rand Daily Mail in 2015.
“Take [Shoprite CEO] Whitey Basson: how can anyone tell me that Whitey is paid too much, considering the wealth he’s created for shareholders?”