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13th Edition

Detailing the period from July 2018 – December 2018

This is the 13th 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 South African economy has entered 2019, an election year. Traditionally, an election year is characterised by very few controversial decisions as the election campaign takes on greater importance.


The current economic environment remains persistently subdued as low economic growth, a high unemployment rate and rising consumer costs remain hot topics. The South African Reserve Bank forecasts the inflation rate to be 4.8% in 2019. Gross Domestic Product is expected to grow at 1.3%, however, there has been a lot of speculation regarding a possible downward revision of that figure at the next Monetary Policy Committee meeting .


The South African economy is currently in a “stationary” state as the election approaches. Once the election has past, we will receive a more accurate understanding of the true state of the economy and its impact on Executive salaries.

  • CFOs had the largest annual increase compared to March 2018.

  • CEOs and Executive Directors received a median increase of 6.3% and 6.6% respectively.
  • CEOs received a median increase below that of general staff (according to the 21st Century Increase Report, September 2018)

  • Company size remains positively correlated with median total guaranteed pay across all kinds of executives.
  • CEOs remain the highest paid in terms of TGP, followed by Executive Directors and CFOs.
  • CFOs earned a higher median TGP than Executive Directors within large companies.

  • 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.
  • There was a marginal reduction in the median wage gap across all company sizes.

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)

Short Term Incentives:

  • Large Cap Executives received the largest STI as a percentage of TGP across all kinds of Executives.
  • Medium Cap companies saw their median STI percentage increase across all three kinds of Executive.
  • In general the Small and Median Cap Executives earned significantly less as a percentage of TGP compared to their Large Cap peers.

Long Term Incentives:

  • 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 smaller median LTIs as a percentage of TGP than Small Cap CEOs received.
  • CEOs in large cap companies earned the highest LTIs as a percentage of TGP, followed by CFOs and Executive Directors.


  • There have only been marginal changes in the mix of shares offered to Executives.
  • Executive Directors had the highest prevalence of appreciation 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%.

  • Compared to the previous report, the prevalence of share schemes used has remained relatively unchanged.
  • Appreciation shares remain the dominant form of shares issued across all sizes and kinds of Executives.

  • The Extractive Industry has the largest Wage Gap followed by the Personal Services Industry.
  • There have only been marginal changes in the Wage Gap by industry since the previous report was issued.
  • The nature of the industry influences the Wage Gap as organisations with lower graded employees will have a lower general staff median than more technical industries.

  • The Extractive, Transformative and Producer Services industriesCEOs and CFOs experienced a decline in their median LTI as a percentage of TGP.
  • Compared to the last report, the STI as a percentage of TGP declined marginally for all CEOs.
  • Within Executive Directors and CFOs there have been a few marginal increases and decreases but no significant overall trend in STI as a percentage of TGP is present.

  • The prevalence of full share schemes in the Extractive industry has been on the rise. In contrast the prevalence of appreciation schemes marginally declined for CEOs and CFOs in the Extractive Industry.
  • Compared to the last report there is no discernible overall trend. When excluding the Extractive Industry, appreciation shares are comfortably the most prevalent in the other industries.

The Sustainable Remuneration Index measures how executives are remunerated relative to their performance against the triple bottom line:

  • People (Social)
  • Profit (Financial)
  • Planet (Environmental)
  • The CEO of each company is represented by a single plot point which is plotted against their performance percentile (Y-Axis) and total earnings percentile (X-Axis)
  • The thick red line is referred to as the line of sustainability. This line represents what the scatter plot (Sustainable Remuneration Model) would look like if every CEO was remunerated at the same percentile as their performance. The further away from the line of sustainability a CEO is, the less sustainable is their remuneration.
  • The blue line is the trend line for the actual scatter plot.
  • The equation in the top left hand corner of the scatter plot represents the dimensions of the line. The slope of this line is 0.7368 which means that for every 0.7368 of a percentile that a CEO improves their performance by, they move up an additional one percentile in the total earnings percentiles (The SA market trend). In other words, total earnings position increases at a faster rate than performance position.
  • The area between the two thin red lines represents the target area within which a company would want to be. This area indicates that the performance position and total earnings position are sufficiently similar to be on the correct path towards sustainable remuneration

We are able to measure your sustainability – relative to your peers – and provide you with a full report detailing your organisation’s position within the Sustainability Remuneration Index, and details of the areas of improvement.


  • JSE Listed Company’s Executive TGP Increases were in line with general staff increases (21st Century Increase Report).
  • There have not been any significant changes in the Executive pay mix trends since the last report.
  • The 2018 edition of the Sustainable Remuneration Model indicates that the slope of South Africa’s trend line is 0.7368. Better alignment of pay and performance will improve this and move the slope of the line closer to one (perfection).
  • The economy is expected to remain under pressure despite exiting the technical recession last year. Factor’s such as load shedding and poor credit ratings are expected to remain challenges to the economy throughout 2019.

Thank you for your interest in the
21st Century Executive Pay Barometer

Written by:


Bryden Morton
Executive Director
B.Com (Hons) Economics
[email protected]


Chris Blair
B.Sc Chem. Eng., MBA – Leadership & Sustainability
[email protected]

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