JOHANNESBURG — The Sunday Times rich list revealed yesterday shows that despite anaemic gross domestic product growth of an expected 1,5% this year, the wealth at the top of the pyramid has soared.
That R205 billion is skewed by the fact that the country’s wealthiest person is new to the rich list: Ivan Glasenberg, the South Africa-born boss of Swiss-based mining company Glencore, whose fortune was worth R61,3 billion last month.
Glasenberg, who has kept his wealth under wraps, did not feature until Glencore listed on the JSE last year. His inclusion knocked Christo Wiese, chairman of Africa’s largest retailer Shoprite, from top spot. The best-paid executive last year was Anglo American chief executive officer Mark Cutifani, who scored R107 million.
Last year, strikes brought the mining industry to a standstill as union Amcu demanded a minimum wage for mineworkers of R12 500 a month.
The rich list shows that 31 of 214 South African CEOs earned more than 100 times that coveted R12 500 monthly salary. Old Mutual CEO Julian Roberts, who took home R73 million last year, earned 488 times that R12 500.
Sasol CEO David Constable’s R53,6 million was 358 times that amount.
Shoprite CEO Whitey Basson earned R50 million and MTN CEO Sifiso Dabengwa was paid R48 million.
More controversially, the directors of Eskom continue to coin it, although the bumbling parastatal has implemented power cuts across the country.
But when it comes to lifetime wealth, Glasenberg was the clear winner this year. Glasenberg, a notoriously media-shy man described by the Financial Times as “one of the great enigmas of the corporate world”, went to Johannesburg’s Hyde Park High School and studied at Wits University, before starting work at the group that became Glencore in the 1980s. Living in Switzerland, he controls 8,4% of the R758 billion global commodities giant.
Though Wiese’s fortune was estimated at R35,8 billion on this year’s list by the end of November, he is likely to depose Glasenberg as the richest South African on next year’s list.
Until now, his 52% shareholding in Pepkor was not included as the retailer was not listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
But last week’s mega deal, the largest takeover in South African corporate history, will see Steinhoff buy Pepkor for R62,8 billion from Wiese and Brait.
As a result, Wiese will end up owning just under 20% of Steinhoff, a stake worth more than R30 billion. When that’s added to his existing R35,8 billion in listed investments, Wiese is likely to rise to the top of the table again.
While mining mogul Patrice Motsepe briefly led the list two years ago, the plunge in the value of commodities shares means that the chairman of African Rainbow Minerals and owner of 2013 Premier League champions Mamelodi Sundowns now drops to fifth, behind Glasenberg, Wiese, Naspers former CEO Koos Bekker and Aspen CEO Stephen Saad.
— Business Times