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Highest Paid CEOs in South Africa

Highest Paid CEO in South Africa

Highest-paid CEOs in South Africa

A CEO is the highest-ranking officer in an organization and the success or the failure of the company depends on them. They make decisions, enact policies and manage the capital and human resources at their disposal for the success of the company. Some of them have to work for long hours to ensure that the company moves forward and in the process, becomes the highest-paid CEO in South Africa. We’ll tell you the highest-paid CEOs in South Africa.

Apart from taking the major decisions and overseeing the affair of the company, CEOs are handsomely rewarded.  One of the most lucrative things about this position is the salary. They collect remunerations that are good enough to compensate for their demanding tasks. In this post, we’ll tell you about the highest-paid CEO in South Africa.

On a global scale, Elon Musk of Tesla Inc. takes the lead. Of course, without debate, Elon Musk is the highest-earning CEO in the world, with s astonishing salary of $6.65 billion. However, in South Africa, Johan Petrus Burger of FirstRand comes top with a total compensation package of R63.3m

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I know you are still eager to know who the highest-earning CEO in South Africa is and you are probably familiar with some of the names.

Below is the list of the highest-paid CEOs in South Africa. Because the list would be too long if we have to list them all, we have limited the list to accommodate only the top 7 highest-earning CEOs in South Africa.

What does it take to become a CEO in South Africa?

To become a CEO, you need to be really creative and innovative. You must possess the ability to manage resources and people. CEOs bring innovation and creativity to the bear, in addition to their academic pedigree. Not all the popular CEOs today are academic giants but what typically defines them is that they have the passion, the innovation, and willpower to bring a historical invention out of nothing. In terms of degree, you should have an undergraduate degree in business, economics, or finance. Other relevant degrees include engineering and law. You need to follow your degree up by building on-the-job: gather experience on the job. Most of the highest-paid CEOs oversee the companies they found. However, others rose through the ranks to get to this coveted position.

Which Sectors Have the Highest-Paid CEOs in South Africa 

Different sectors pay the executives differently. One of the sectors that have a lot of highly paid CEOs is the retail banking industry.

Top 10 Highest-Paid CEO in South Africa in 2022, Annual Earning and Sources of Income.

Name Source of Income (Company) Annual Earning
Johan Petrus Burger FirstRand R63.3million
Gerrie Fourie Capitec Bank Limited R31.8 million
Ian Moir Woolworths Holdings Ltd. R30.6 million
Pieter Engelbrecht Shoprite 29.9 million
Norbet Sasse Growthpoint R25.3 million
Mike Schmidt African Rainbow Minerals R29.3 million
Stephen Saad Aspen Pharmacare 17.51 million


1. Johan Petrus Burger

Highest-Paid CEO in South Africa

Johan Petrus Burger is a South African multimillionaire businessman and non-executive director of FirstRand Bank. He joined Rand Merchant Bank in 1986 and got appointed a financial director in 1995. Following the formation of FirstRand Limited in 1998, he was first appointed financial director of FirstRand Banking Group and rose to become the CEO in October 2015 after serving as the company’s CFO. Johan retired as CEO with effect from 31 March 2018.

Before joining the FirstRand, Johan completed his articles with Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC) and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1984. He holds a degree in accounting from the University of Johannesburg (formerly RAU) in 1983.

Johan earns a total compensation package of R63.3million at FirstRand to emerge as the highest-paid CEO in South Africa.

2. Gerrie Fourie

Top-earning CEOs in South Africa

Chief Executive Officer of Capitec Bank, Gerrie Fourie joined Capitec Bank in 2000 and is now serving as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, a position he has held since 2014. He began his tenure as the Head of Operations before becoming Executive and then CEO. Prior to his journey with Capitec Bank,  Gerrie served as the Area General Manager of Stellenbosch Farmers’ Winery.

He also currently serves on the MasterCard MEA advisory board. Gerrie’s operational and strategic knowledge has been an invaluable asset that has helped drive Capitec’s relevant innovation and successful growth to becoming South Africa’s strongest brand and biggest digital bank with the happiest clients.

Fourie’s remuneration as the CEO of Capitec Bank is  R31.8m. 

3. Ian Moir

Woolworths CEO: Highest earning CEO in South Africa

Ian Moir is the executive director and group chief executive of Woolworths Holdings Ltd., a South African retail chain that extends throughout Africa and into the Middle East, trading through over 1,500 stores.  was appointed to the Board of Country Road Group in October 1998, where he became the chief operating officer of the company before being appointed chief executive in November 2000. He then became executive director and chief operating officer of Woolmark.

Moir joined Woolworths Holdings Ltd. as a board member in January 2010 and was later appointed the group’s chief executive officer in November 2010. He is a member of the Risk and Compliance, Social and Ethics, and Sustainability Committees, as well as chairman of the Woolworths, David Jones, and Country Road Group boards.

He has an MBA in Economics from the University of London. 

Moir earns R30.6million per annum from Woolworths Holdings Ltd, making him one of the top-earning CEOs in South Africa in 2022.

4. Pieter Engelbrecht

top 7 Highest Earning CEO in South Africa

Pieter Engelbrecht is the CEO of Shoprite Holdings, South Africa’s largest food retailer and the biggest retailer in Africa.

Shoprite Holdings Limited paid Pieter Engelbrecht over R29.9 million in compensation in 2021 to place him as one of the top-earning CEOs in South Africa.

5. Mike Schmidt

With an annual salary of R29.3million, Mike Schmidt is one of the highest-earning CEOs in South Africa. Mike is the CEO of African Rainbow Minerals. Mike Schmidt joined ARM as an executive after 13 years with Lonmin Platinum where he was vice-president of Limpopo operations.  He received a graduate degree from INSEAD.

6. Norbet Sasse

Growthpoint CEO Norbert Sasse is one of the highest earning CEOs in South Africa

Growthpoint is the largest listed property investment group in South Africa. It holds assets diversified across office, industrial and retail spaces. The company started as a small company under third-party management. It was listed in 1987 and the company experienced a relatively slow expansion. By 2001, it only had nine properties with a combined value of R100 million and a market cap of about R30 million and is currently one of the biggest companies in South Africa.

Norbet Sasse is the chief executive of Growthpoint and is one of the highest-paid CEOs in South Africa.

Norbet Sasse’s annual compensation as the CEO of Growthpoint is R25.3 million.

7. Stephen Saad

Stephen Saad - Founder and CEO of Aspen Pharmacare

Stephen Saad is the co-founder and chief executive of South Africa’s largest pharmaceuticals maker, Aspen Pharmacare. Aspen Pharmacare is the largest producer of generic medicines in Africa.

Stephen Bradley Saad was born to Lebanese parents and raised in Durban, South Africa. He attended the Durban High School, Durban, and obtained a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Natal.

Saad began his career at Quickmed, a prescription drug distribution company. He became a millionaire at age 29 when he sold his share in the drug business in Covan Zurich for $3 million.

In 1997, Saad co-founded Aspen Pharmacare with Gus Attridge. The company is now the largest producer of generic medicines in Africa. He serves as its chief executive and Gus Attridge as its deputy chief executive and serves on its board of directors

Aspen Pharmacare pays Stephen Saad over R17.51million annually, making him one of the top-earning CEOs in South Africa.



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