About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

The real gravy train

Ever since the April 199/t elections, the ANC-led alliance has been treated to endless lectures from the private sector about "fiscal discipline", about "belt tightening", and about how the public sector is inherently more wasteful than the private sector.

All of these lectures are very interesting. But what are those who are giving us these lectures doing themselves?

Consider the salaries the executive directors of Murray and Roberts recently awarded themselves. They now each earn salaries averaging R2,04-million per year, which works out to R170,000 a month. Of course, they have not exactly told us this, most companies in the private sector refuse point-blank to disclose the salaries of their top executive. These figures are based on the total earnings of executive directors at Murrayand Roberts and then divided by the number of such directors, as published in the company's annual reports. It probably excludes additional benefits and perks.

Even more astounding is the fact that the very prophets of the market are the ones who happily flout the market's verdict. We are constantly told that the market is the best indicator of performance, and that market-related performance should determine reward.

If that's the case how do you explain the most recent salary increases for executive directors in Murray and Roberts was 50%, but profit growth was only half of that at 25%?

Dorhyl executive directors did even better. Salary increases for Dorbyl directors rose 201%, while profits were down 25%. While at Anglo's AECI the salary increase for executives was 122%, while profits were down 8%.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.