MTN CEO Rob Shuter’s salary of R43 million was the highest of any ICT executive over the past year, followed by Vodacom CEO Shameel Joosub with R38 million.
While these pay packages seem high in a country where the average salary in the formal sector is R21,432 per month, the reality is that many of these executives can earn much more overseas.
Former Checkers CEO Whitey Basson, who was often lambasted for his high pay package, said his salary was relatively low when compared to his international counterparts.
Basson said that while he was Checkers CEO, he was approached by three major international companies which offered him double and even triple his salary to jump ship.
He said it is challenging to keep top executives in the country who can grow the industry and ensure the country has a brighter future.
Instead of complaining about high executive salaries, Basson said, people should rather focus on growing the economy to light salaries across the board.
Local tech and telecoms CEOs
To illustrate Basson’s point, it is instructional to look at South Africa’s top telecommunications executives.
South Africa is home to two of the world’s largest mobile operators, Vodacom and MTN, and these two powerhouses produce some of the world’s best and most sought-after executives.
Vodacom and MTN’s executives can easily move to another country, which many of them have already done.
Before MTN CEO Rob Shuter took the reins at the operator, he was the CEO for Vodafone’s Europe Cluster.
Shameel Joosub, in turn, was the CEO of Vodafone Spain before he returned to South Africa to run Vodacom.
A person with the skillset to run a large telecommunications company is extremely hard to find – especially when the company has operations across Africa.
Unless South African telecoms companies pay their top executives well, they will not attract the top talent. Eskom and the SAA serve as a warning of what happens when you do not have quality execs.
The top paid ICT executives in South Africa
The table below provides an overview of the highest-paid IT and telecoms executives in South Africa.
|ICT Executive Pay in South Africa|
|Person||Position||Total Pay Package|
|Rob Shuter||MTN CEO||R42,923,000|
|Ebenezer Asante||MTN Vice-president: SEAGHA||R24,029,000|
|Godfrey Motsa||MTN SA CEO||R23,490,000|
|J Schulte-Bockum||MTN COO||R23,249,000|
|Ralph Mupita||MTN CFO||R22,539,000|
|Shameel Joosub||Vodacom CEO||R38,261,997|
|Till Streichert||Vodacom CFO||R17,519,055|
|Sipho Maseko||Telkom CEO||R23,179,782|
|Andrew Holden||Altron COO/CFO||R19,506,000|
|Mteto Nyati||Altron CEO||R19,072,000|
|Brett Levy||Blue Label Telecoms Co-CEO||R14,254,000|
|Mark Levy||Blue Label Telecoms Co-CEO||R14,254,000|
|Alan Dickson||Reunert CEO||R7,791,000|
|Mark Taylor||Reunert Executive Director||R6,251,000|
|Nick Thomson||Reunert CFO||R5,698,000|
|Sbu Shabalala||Adapt IT CEO||R4,846,444|
|Tiffany Dunsdon||Adapt IT CFO||R3,681,409|