Shoprite CEO earned 1,081 times more than the lowest employee

Shoprite CEO, Pieter Engelbrecht, earned 1,081 times more than the company’s internal minimum wage, with other large companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) also having large pay disparities between employees and executives. 

This is from a report compiled by Just Share, a Cape Town-based advocacy group that has historically lobbied company boards to disclose the wage discrepancies between executives and their lowest-paid workers. 

Wage gap disclosure is not yet a legal requirement in South Africa. Just Share said it could only find eight JSE-listed companies revealing this information. 

These companies include Absa, Investec, JSE Ltd., Nedbank, Old Mutual, Shoprite, Standard Bank, and Woolworths.  

Of these companies, Shoprite had the largest vertical pay gap between its lowest-paid employee and the CEO’s total remuneration – over double fellow retailer Woolworths. 

Just Share chose to focus on the CEO’s total remuneration rather than the total guaranteed pay, as it says that the major portion of executive remuneration in South Africa is derived from performance incentives. 

In 2022, Shoprite’s CEO Pieter Engelbrecht earned 1,081 times more than the company’s lowest-paid employee. 

Engelbrecht earned R63.46 million in the last financial year, while the company’s internal minimum wage was R58,700. 

Of the eight companies, JSE Ltd. had the lowest vertical pay gap, with CEO Leila Fourie earning 49 times more than the lowest-paid employee. 

Just Share commended these companies for voluntarily disclosing this information without being legally required.

It also said that disclosure is a critical first step in addressing income inequality in South Africa and urged stakeholders to make their own assessments of fairness on a case-by-case basis by considering the skill levels of employees. 

For example, the minimum wage earned at Shoprite will naturally be significantly lower than that earned at the JSE Ltd. as Shoprite employs low-skilled or unskilled workers. In contrast, the JSE Ltd. will employ higher-skilled workers. 

Below is a table of the eight companies and their CEOs’ total remuneration versus their internal minimum wage, excluding Investec. 

CEO total remuneration (2022)Internal minimum wage (2022)Pay ratio
JSER20. 67 millionR419,58549
Old MutualR22.08 millionR180,000123
NedbankR33.47 millionR190,000176
AbsaR46.06 millionR200,000230
Standard BankR55.70 millionR215,700258
WoolworthsR36.13 millionR85,500423
ShopriteR63.46 million R58,700 1,081
Source: Just Share