South African tech companies that pay the biggest salaries – And how much more their CEOs earn

There are 10 private tech-related companies in South Africa which pay an average annual salary of more than R500,000 per employee.

Workers in the technology sector in South Africa typically earn more than many other industries due to an increased demand for skills in these areas.

MyBroadband has analysed the financial statements of major tech-related businesses listed on the JSE and state-owned enterprises which offer positions in technology-related roles.

The latter  – which includes companies like Eskom and the SABC – generally provide average employee salary figures as part of their integrated annual results.

For private companies, we divided the total staff costs, which includes bonuses and other incentives, by the number of employees as indicated in the latest annual results.

We found a total of 10 companies that paid average salaries of more than R500,000 per year in either FY2019 or FY2020.

The top 10 includes the country’s three biggest mobile operators – Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C – as well as five state-owned enterprises.

Vodacom claimed the top spot, paying its employees an average salary of R861,070, followed closely by the country’s biggest pay-TV provider – MultiChoice –  at R857,557.

Struggling power utility Eskom was third at R785,557 per employee, while the SABC came fourth, with its employees earning an average of R762,00 in 2019.

The table below shows the top 10 technology companies in South Africa which pay the highest average employee salaries.

South African SOEs and Tech Companies
Company Employees Total staff costs Average Salary
Vodacom 6,894 R5.912 billion R861,070
MultiChoice 7,457 R6.421 billion R857,557
Eskom 46,665 R36.658 billion R785,557
SABC 3,167 R2.414 billion R762,000
Sentech 531 R372.935 million R702,326
Telkom 15,099 R10.713 billion R630,969
Broadband Infraco 155 R95.138 million R613,794
MTN 19,288 R10.597 billion R549,409
Denel 3,968 R2.145 billion R540,575
Adapt IT 1,088 R577.510 million R530,800

CEO Salaries

The South African CEOs which are tasked with leading the companies listed above carry immense responsibility.

We compared their annual salaries with the average salary to see how much more they earned than the average employee at their company.

The comparison showed that telecoms CEOs in particular earned much higher salaries.

Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko’s total package was 35-times more than the average Telkom employee, while Shameel Joosub earned 50-times more than the average employee at Vodacom.

MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter took home more than 105-times the average salary of an MTN employee, although it should be noted that a large chunk of his total package of R58.23 million was made up by a R27.6-million bonus.

The table below shows the salaries of the CEOs of the top 10 highest-paying tech companies in South Africa, as well as how much more they earn than the average employee.

CEO Salaries
Company CEO Salary Ratio to average salary
MTN Rob Shuter R58.23 million 105:1
Vodacom Shameel Joosub R43.4 million 50:1
Telkom Sipho Maseko R21.82 million 35:1
MultiChoice Calvo Mawela R27.53 million 32:1
Eskom Phakamani Hadebe (former) R8.62 million 10:1
Adapt IT Sbu Shabalala R4.84 million 9:1
Denel Daniel du Toit R3.22 million 6:1
SABC Madoda Mwakwe R3.92 million (9 months) 5:1
Sentech Mlamli Booi R3.44 million 5:1
Broadband Infraco Andrew Matseke R2.7 million 4:1

Now read: IT salaries – South Africa vs the UK

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South African tech companies that pay the biggest salaries – And how much more their CEOs earn