At its annual general meeting (AGM) on Monday, Shoprite investors holding almost 41% of the ordinary shares in the company voted against the remuneration of its top executives.
Fifty-two-year-old Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht received R29.9 million over the past year, an increase of almost 12% from the previous year. As recently as 2019, he earned R21.3 million.
Engelbrecht, who has been CEO of Shoprite since 2017, earned R16.8 million in guaranteed pay - slightly lower than the previous year. But he earned a bonus ("short-term incentives") of almost R12 million - compared to R7.6 million in the previous year. The bonus was linked to "specific short-term incentive criteria". Engelbrecht’s "actual outcome" was 112% of the target.
Engelbrecht's total earnings came to almost R2.5 million a month. The minimum wage in the retail sector is R28.25 per hour – or around R5 500 a month.
While a large portion of shareholders voted against his remuneration, according to JSE regulations, the company only needs to extend an invitation to dissenting shareholders to engage with it on their concerns.
Shareholders also voted to re-elect directors to its board, and shareholders holding 49.89% of ordinary Shoprite shares voted against former chair Christo Wiese as a director.
Wiese had been Shoprite's chairperson since 1979 when his Pep Stores acquired the food retailer. He helped to grow Shoprite from a small supermarket chain with eight stores to the pan-African food retailer. He retired as chairperson last year, after shareholders holding 61% of shares voted against his re-appointment as a chairperson at the 2019 AGM.
Wiese was a close associate of disgraced former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste. Wiese lost more than R23 billion after Steinhoff all but collapsed in 2017 amid extensive corporate fraud.
Wiese was the only of the Shoprite directors that faced serious dissent - with almost all of the other directors scoring support of above 96%.