How long it takes the average South African to earn Rob Shuter’s salary

MTN Group released its Integrated Report for the year ended 31 December 2018 this week, which included a remuneration section.

This part of the report contains information on how much MTN’s executives get paid – including MTN Group CEO Rob Shuter.

Shuter took home a total package of R42.9 million in 2018, which was made up of a R15.2-million salary, a R25.2-million bonus, and “other benefits”.

Looking at South Africa, MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa was also well rewarded: taking home a R6.8-million salary, a R5.6-million bonus, and R10.1 million in “other benefits”.

Average South African

While many South Africans may complain about the high salaries of these executives, the responsibilities they hold and the targets put before them are exponentially more strenuous than a normal 9-to-5 job.

In MTN South Africa, for example, the company’s EBITDA – earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization – was R15.6 billion.

MTN also spends billions of rand each year on upgrading its network infrastructure, and in 2018 it paid over R24 billion in taxes alone.

These numbers, and being responsible for the directions in which they move, put the “large” executive salaries into perspective.

However, it is nonetheless an interesting exercise to compare salaries of executives like Shuter and Motsa against those of the average South African.

According to StatsSA’s Quarterly Employment Survey for Q4 2018, the average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector was R21,190 per month. This works out to around to R255,000 per year.

When compared against Shuter and Motsa’s total packages for 2018, the following is found.


Average South African vs Shuter

South African Pay
Person Total Annual Pay Time to Earn R42.9 million
Rob Shuter R42.9 million 1 Year
Average South African R255,000 168 Years

Average South African vs Motsa

South African Pay
Person Total Annual Pay Time to Earn R23.4 million
Godfrey Motsa R23.4 million 1 Year
Average South African R255,000 91 Years

Godfrey Motsa


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How long it takes the average South African to earn Rob Shuter’s salary