CEO’s In SA Earn Over 500 Times More Than The Average Worker

America apparently has the best paid CEO’s in the world with a 2014 article by Forbes putting the average earning of American CEOs in 2013 at $11.7 million which was 331 times that of an average worker who earned about $35,293.

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Despite the fact that America has the highest paid CEOs, it seems that South Africa has the highest gap between CEOs and the average worker. Not only are South African CEOs among the best paid in the world, their earnings are a staggering 500 times more than the average worker in South Africa.

average worker

The statistic is yet another proof of the argument that South Africa has one of the most unequal economies in the whole world. In the ranking of CEO salaries the world over according to a Bloomberg survey of executive paychecks around in the world’s 25 largest economies, South Africa averaged out at the seventh position.

That position was, however, furthered when considerations of how executive packages compared to the average income in the country were thrown into the mix. South Africa became number one.


Average workers in South Africa have an income of $13,194, measured in GDP per capita adjusted to purchasing power in 2015 and 2016. An average CEO in South Africa earns $7.14 million; that is 541 times more than the average worker.

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India ranked second in the ranking of highest inequality. Indian CEOs earn 483 times more than the average salary, at an average of $3.10 million, showing that although poverty levels in India may be high, the country’s inequality levels are much lower than those of South Africa.

average worker

The UK also ranked high in the disparity between executive salaries and the average worker, but the ratio like that of the US was around half of that of South Africa’s.

According to Bloomberg, the CEO salaries were gathered from public filings of listed companies and calculated according to salary, cash bonuses, pension, deferred pay, the value of perquisites and non-cash remuneration such as equity awards.