SA to address excessive pay ‘injustice’, attempts to narrow earnings gap

By Rene Vollgraaff

(Bloomberg) – South Africa is finalising legislative changes that aim at narrowing the earnings gap between company executives and the lowest-paid workers, according to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel.

“A further amendment to company law is required to tackle the gross injustice of excessive pay,” Patel told lawmakers in his department’s budget vote speech on Tuesday. “A new bill that will be finalised within 60 days will require disclosure of wage differentials in companies, stronger governance on excessive director pay and enhanced transparency on ownership and financial records.”

South Africa is one of the world’s most unequal nations, a legacy of the system of racial discrimination that disadvantaged the Black majority and ended in 1994. Chief executives and top lawyers can make in excess of R20m ($1.4m) a year, while the official minimum wage is just over R20 an hour.

– With assistance from Paul Vecchiatto.

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