These SOE executives earn much higher salaries than President Cyril Ramaphosa

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has slated the high executive salaries at state-owned enterprises, saying the “runaway wage and salary system in the public service” should be managed.

He proposed a new salary structure where the CEOs at state-owned enterprises (SOEs) should be seen as director generals (DGs) and earn the same salaries.

“SOE executives cannot earn more than the DG of the National Treasury, Presidency, and DPSA,” Mboweni said.

Based on a recent advertisement by the Department of Public Service and Administration, the current salary for a Director-General is R1.979 million per year.

This is significantly lower than many executives at state-owned enterprises, raising concerns that such salaries will not be market-related.

The finance minister dismissed concerns that lower salaries at state-owned enterprises will result in lower-skilled candidates applying for these positions.

Mboweni told Fin24 “it is not true that if you don’t pay those salaries you won’t attract expertise. It is a myth and a figment of imagination”.

SEO executive salaries

Mboweni’s comments raise the question of how SOE salaries compare with that of government officials like ministers and the president.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has a salary package of R3.08 million, while Deputy President David Mabuza earns R2.8 million.

All ministers have a salary package of R2.4 million and deputy ministers get paid R1.98 million per year.

In comparison, former Eskom CEO Phakamini Hadebe earned R8.62 million in the last financial year while the SABC COO was paid R4.10 million.

The table below provides a comparison of the salaries of prominent SOE executives and top government officials.

Government versus SOE Salaries
Person Employer Position Salary
Phakamani Hadebe Eskom CEO R8.62 million
Chris Maroleni SABC COO R4.10 million
Madoda Mxakwe SABC CEO R3.92 million
Mlamli Booi Sentech CEO R3.44 million
Calib Cassim Eskom CFO R3.25 million
Danie du Toit Denel CEO R3.22 million
Cyril Ramaphosa Government President R3.08 million
David Mabuza Government Deputy President R2.83 million
Tito Mboweni Government Finance Minister R2.40 million
David Masondo Government Deputy Finance Minister R1.98 million
Dondo Mogajane Government Director-General R1.98 million

Tito Mboweni tweet

Now read: CEO salaries vs average pay at South Africa’s top tech companies

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These SOE executives earn much higher salaries than President Cyril Ramaphosa