How much does your boss earn? Do you really want to know?

City Press Wealth Index reveals that the top earner in 2016/17 took home a whopping R202 million.
City Press Wealth Index reveals that the top earner in 2016/17 took home a whopping R202 million.

A cheque for R202 million for Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste when things were still going well, and R71 million for CFO Ben la Grange.

With this pay cheque, Jooste was, before his resignation from the beleaguered Steinhoff group, the highest paid executive of a JSE-listed company in the 2016/17 financial year, according to the City Press Wealth Index.

He was followed by Danie van der Merwe, acting CEO of Steinhoff.

Jooste’s multimillion-rand package included a salary of R36.5 million and a performance bonus of R48.2 million. The value of rights to shares exercised was R117 million in 2016/17, and was added to his earnings to reach his R202 million total.

La Grange received a salary of R14 million, a performance bonus of R22 million, and his shares in the company increased in value that financial year by R34 million, putting him in sixth place.

Economist Jeremy Dobbin, of Who Owns Whom, which compiled the City Press Wealth Index, says these amounts reflect the information on directors’ remuneration announced by listed companies.

Among the top 10 highest-paid directors are a few bankers and asset managers, mine bosses, and directors of the luxury goods company Richemont.

Richemont’s Richard Lepeu, chief executive, and Gary Saage, financial director during the 2016/17 financial year, earned R92 million and R87 million respectively, placing them in third and fourth positions.

Francois Gouws, chief executive of the financial services company PSG Konsult, is fifth on the list with R76 million in earnings in 2016/17.

Neal Froneman, chief executive of Sibanye-Stillwater, didn’t do too badly in 2017, with his R52 million pay packet which consisted of, among other line items, a R10 million salary and a R15 million performance bonus.

Froneman is 11th on the list, followed by the former group chief executive of Shoprite, Whitey Basson, who holds the 12th position. According to the City Press Wealth Index, Basson’s earnings as nonexecutive deputy chairperson stood at R50 million in 2016/17.

MTN’s executive chairperson, Phuthuma Nhleko, was 15th on the list with a salary of R19 million, a performance bonus of R22 million and an increase in the value of his shares of R4 million, bringing his total pay packet to R46 million.

The only woman in the Top 50 corporate executive earners is Lizé Lambrechts, chief executive of insurers Santam. Her pay package for 2016/17 stood at R30 million – R5 million in salary and a R25 million performance bonus.

Made with Flourish

Towards the bottom of the list, in 40th place, is Bob van Dijk, chief executive of Naspers, who earned R29 million in 2016/17. His package from the multinational internet and media group included a R14 million salary and a performance bonus of about R13 million.

According to Naspers’s annual report, released last week, Van Dijk’s basic salary in the 2017/18 financial year stood at $1.3 million (about R17 million at this week’s currency exchange rates).

Dobbin says the methodology eliminates some prominent companies whose remuneration is not disclosed, and some prominent South Africans are therefore not on the wealth list.

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