An Average CEO Salary in South Africa

Chief Executive Officer or CEO is the highest rank in a company setup. They are responsible for making all the significant leadership decisions and managing the company’s profile. The average CEO salary in South Africa is R71,841 per month.

Occupation:CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
Monthly Salary Range:R 35066 – R 112116
Average Monthly Salary:R 73591
Description:A CEO is responsible for managing the company’s profile, expanding its operations, improving its profits, and boasting sharing prices.
Minimum Qualification:A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualifications.

Want to know about their salary? Here is a complete guide on CEO salary based on qualification, expertise, and city of allocation.

Average CEO Salary South Africa Overview

You need at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify for the position of chief executive officer in South Africa. An average CEO earns around R71,841 per month, which is R862,100 per year. The lowest salary of a CEO in the country is R420,800 per year, whereas experts in the profession earn approximately R1,345,400 per year.

Additionally, the median salary of a CEO in South Africa is approximately R878,900. If you are earning a higher value, you are earning more than 50% of the workforce. Going deeper, 25% of the workforce earn less than R585,900 per year, whereas the other 75% earn less than their value.


Considering that it is a high-rank position in an organizational setting, the position is considered a high bonus-based job. According to statistics, around 86% of the CEOs across the country earn incentives, whereas the other 14% do not. Not only this, but the bonus amount of the incentives ranges between 5 and 9% of their annual salary.

Salary Structure

Given that it is a position, there is no salary rank in this case. That said, several factors are counted when deciding your yearly salary as a CEO, including expertise, qualifications, gender, and the company you are allocated to. Let us briefly discuss these factors one by one.

Level of Experience

The first thing that counts when deciding your salary as a CEO in South Africa is the level of experience you have. The rule of thumb suggests that someone with more years of experience has a higher wage and vice versa. So, let us see how your expertise in the scene influences your yearly salary as a CEO.

Level of ExperienceAverage Yearly Salary
Less than 2 yearsR500,100
2 to 5 yearsR642,800
5 to 10 yearsR885,000
10 to 15 yearsR1,099,800
15 to 20 yearsR1,178,000
More than 20 yearsR1,259,300
  • The starting salary for CEOs with less than two years of experience is around R500,100 per year.
  • As you progress and get five years of experience, the salary is expected to grow up to 29%.
  • When the CEO in a company setup achieves a 10-year milestone, there is an expected 38% raise in their annual salaries.
  • With CEOs between ten and fifteen years of experience, there is a 24% increase in their annual salaries.
  • Experts with twenty years of experience get a 7% increase in their annual salaries.
  • Finally, employees with more than twenty years of experience also get a 7% increase as compared to the previous category.
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Education Level

Your education is yet another factor that plays a crucial role in determining your annual salary as a chief executive officer in South Africa. A CEO with a Master’s degree earns more than those with a bachelor’s degree. Here is a breakdown of the CEO’s salary in South Africa based on education qualification.

EducationAverage Yearly Salary
Diploma or CertificateR578,500
Bachelor’s DegreeR736,700
Master’s DegreeR1,122,900
  • Though it is rare for an employee with a diploma certificate to get to a CEO position, they are still expected to earn around R578,500 per year.
  • Employees with a bachelor’s degree are expected to earn 27% more than the previous category.
  • As employees progress to a master’s degree, they are expected to get a 53% increase in their annual salaries.
  • Finally, CEOs with Ph.D.s are expected to earn 19% more than those with a master’s degree.


Though gender should not be a parameter to decide your salary as a chief executive officer, this is not the case. According to statistics, registered female CEOs earn 12% less than their male counterparts. Here is how both male and female chief executive officers earn per year.

GenderAverage Salary
Male CEO SalaryR888,400
Female CEO SalaryR792,900

City of Allocation

The cities and companies you are allocated to also matter a lot in determining your yearly salary as a chief executive officer. The rule of thumb says that a big company will have a higher wage for their CEOs and vice versa. Let us discuss the CEO salaries, depending on the city of allocation.

City of AllocationAverage Yearly Salary
Cape TownR918,600
Port ElizabethR852,900

Responsibilities of a Chief Executive Officer

A Chief Executive Officer or CEO is the highest-ranking individual in a company. They are responsible for leading a company, managing its profile, and overseeing its leadership. Here are a few responsibilities of a CEO.

Planning an Organizational Strategy

In a company setup, the CEO has to make routine decisions. These decisions can be about the new product lines, selecting vendors, finding new markets, mitigating risks, and identifying the strengths of the organization.

Managing the Leadership Team

The primary role of a CEO is to oversee the leadership team. This team typically includes the major company’s operations, including the finance officer, operators, risk officers, investment officers, marketing officers, administrating officers, etc.

Making Capital-Allocation Decisions

Though departmental managers are responsible for managing the finances at the divisional level, the CEO typically approves any capital allocation decision. They will have to manage the company’s overall budget after weighing the benefits and costs of a project. In this venture, the leadership team will facilitate the decision-making process.

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Setting Corporate Culture

Every company has a mission and values, which determine its corporate culture and environment. The sole responsibility of maintaining this culture and considering its violations lies with the CEO. Each decision he/ she will make has the potential to alter the working environment.

Communicating with Stakeholders

The CEO is the organization’s face, which means they are responsible for communicating with the stakeholders involved in the decision-making process. Aside from this, they also have to build networking lines with employees, suppliers, and customers.


What is the average salary of a CEO in South Africa?

The average CEO in South Africa earns around R71,841 per month.

How much does an expert CEO earn in South Africa?

An expert CEO based in South Africa is expected to earn approximately R1,345,400 per year.

Are men or women CEOs paid more?

Like any other corporate profession, male CEOs are paid more than their female counterparts. There is a 12% salary difference between the two.

Do CEOs get high bonuses?

Yes, being CEO is a high bonus-based job. According to statistics, around 86% of the CEOs get incentives. These incentives range from 5 to 9% of their annual salary.

How much does a CEO earn in Johannesburg?

An average CEO based in Johannesburg earns approximately R920,400 per year.

What is the starting salary of a CEO in South Africa?

The starting salary of a CEO in South Africa is around R35,066 per month.

In conclusion, the CEO is the top-ranking employee in an organizational setup. They are paid handsomely with attractive incentives and annual bonuses. Not only this, but they get to exercise their power and authority in a corporate setting.

I hope this guide has helped you figure out how much an average CEO earns in South Africa.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.