12th Edition

Detailing the period from January 2018 – July 2018

This is the 12th edition of the Executive Pay Barometer

The barometer uses publically available financial data (from listed companies’ financial and remuneration reports for the most recent 6 month period) to report on:

  • Executive annual increases
  • Executive variable pay ratios to total guaranteed pay:
  • Short-term incentives
  • Long-term incentives
  • Prevalence of types of share schemes
  • Executive remuneration components by company size
  • Executive remuneration components by industry
  • Wage gap by company size and industry
  • Sustainability


The wave of optimism which surrounded the South African economy at the beginning of 2018 has slowly dissipated as the harsh reality of poor economic data has affected the economy. The economy has entered a recession after reporting two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth (Q1 -2.6% and -0.7% in Q2). This contributed in part to the Rand’s recent depreciation and has placed increasing pressure on consumer spending.


Since the previous Barometer (March 2018), the unemployment rate has deteriorated further to 27.2%. Compared to Q3 2017, the number of discouraged workers has increased approximately 17% which indicates that citizens of working age are viewing the labour economy in a more negative light than they did previously.

  • CFOs had the largest annual increase compared to September 2017.

  • CEOs and Executive Directors received a median increase of 6.8% and 6.5% respectively.

  • Size remains positively correlated with median total guaranteed pay across all kinds of executives.

  • CEOs remain the highest paid in terms of total guaranteed package, followed by Executive Directors and CFOs.

  • The positive correlation between the Wage Gap and company size persists. A large contributor to this is that larger organisations will have a CEO with a higher job grade than that of smaller organisations. The larger salary attached to the higher job grade contributes to this positive correlation between company size and the wage gap.

The Wage gap has been calculated by dividing the CEO Total Guaranteed Package (TGP) by the median of the A, B and C-band workers (general staff) Total Guaranteed Package (TGP)

  • Large Cap Executives received the largest STI as a percentage of TGP across all kinds of Executives.
  • In general the Small Cap and Median Cap Executives earned significantly less STI as a percentage of TGP compared to their Large Cap peers.
  • STI percentages are currently quite low compared to typical design principles as a result of the subdued economy.
  • As with the other elements of pay, LTIs as a percentage of TGP are also positively correlated with company size across all kinds of Executives.
  • One exception does exist, where currently Medium Cap CEOs received a smaller median percentage than Small Cap CEOs.
  • CEOs in Large Cap companies earned the highest percentage of  LTIs as a percentage of TGP, followed by CFOs and Executive Directors.


  • CEOs and CFOs currently have the same prevalence of full and appreciation shares.
  • Executive Directors had the highest prevalence of appreciation shares and the lowest prevalence of full shares.

The current methodology allows for both types of share schemes to be administered to a single incumbent and therefore the sum of the two percentages can exceed 100%.