South Africa’s rich list makes for fascinating reading. Although black economic empowerment is in full swing and entrepreneurs who don’t qualify as black complain that the laws are weighted against them, the list of South Africa’s 10 richest men indicates that the wealthy elite is still white – except for a notable exception. The Sunday Times puts Atul Gupta, one of the Gupta brothers at the centre of state capture allegations as growing enormously wealthy in a short space of time. Fin24 lists South Africa’s 10 richest men as:
- Christo Wiese – R81.2bn (Brait SE)
- Ivan Glasenberg – R60bn (Glencore)
- Stephen Saad – R16bn (Aspen Pharmacare)
- John Whittaker – R15.9bn (Intu Properties)
- Laurie Dippenaar – R12.9bn (First Rand)
- Bruno Steinhoff – R12.6bn (Steinhoff)
- Atul Gupta – R10.7bn (Oakbay)
- Johann Rupert – R10.6bn (Remgro)
- Jannie Mouton – R9.8bn (PSG Group)
- Koos Bekker – R9.6bn (Naspers)
South Africa might be taking economic strain, but the rich are getting richer, thanks to astute business moves. Aside from the controversial appearance of Gupta on this list, what’s interesting is that many on the list head businesses that have diversified their interests away from South Africa. True global citizens, they look for opportunities elsewhere, with their accumulation of wealth underscoring the benefits of an international business strategy. – Jackie Cameron.
By Matthew le Cordeur
Cape Town – A slip of the digit resulted in former Famous Brands CEO Kevin Hedderwick being placed as South Africa’s 11th highest earner on the Business Times Rich List that was published on Sunday.
As it turns out, Hedderwick should not be on the list at all. He is currently the strategic adviser at Famous Brands.
According to the list, Hedderwick brought home a whopping R45.991m in 2015, beating a host of South Africa’s leading chief executives of pharmaceutical, petroleum and retail companies.
However, Famous Brands said in a statement on Monday this “figure should in fact be R4.591m, as reflected in the group’s annual financial statements published on 19 June 2015.”
The figure disparity clearly shows a digit was placed one digit to the right.
The Famous Brands 2016 financial results show that Hedderwick made a total of R8.358m, which included the R5.023m remuneration, R2.899m in bonuses and R436 000 in allowances and benefits.
Even at this rate, Hedderwick would not have made the cut for the top 100 top earnings. The 100th position went to Yunis Shaik, who earned a total of R14.794m.
“This error has caused Mr Hedderwick significant distress and embarrassment and reflects negatively on the remuneration policies and practices of the group,” the company said.
Famous Brands says Sunday Times rich list incorrectly says Kevin Hedderwick salary was R45.991m when in fact it should be R4.591m
— Sure Kamhunga (@SureKamhunga) December 12, 2016
“Given the potentially damaging impact of this error on the group’s reputation, the board would like to advise stakeholders that a letter has been submitted to the editor of the Business Times requesting the publication to issue an apology and correction in this regard.”
The Rich List is compiled for Business Times by Who Owns Whom. “We are investigating the matter and are obligated to release our comment via the Sunday Times,” Who Owns Whom MD Andrew McGregor told Fin24 on Monday.
Business Times editor Ron Derby told Fin24 on Monday that the error had been corrected online.
On the Rich List page, Business Times apologised for the error.
“In a previous version of the below table, Who Owns Whom incorrectly stated that Kevin Hedderwick’s salary for the 2015 financial year amounted to R45.991m.
So, Atul Gupta is the poster boy of Zuma's BEE success as he lands in the Top 10 of the Rich List. At the same time, Motsepe drops to 11.
— Joseph Moyo (@Joe990gp) December 11, 2016
“In fact, his fixed remuneration for that year was R4.591m,” it said. “The error occurred as a result of a data capturing fault which wasn’t picked up by quality control.
“Who Owns Whom endeavours to provide the highest quality of research and we greatly regret this error and any embarrassment caused as a result.”
Famous Brands dominates the fast food and restaurant industry in South Africa, and owns brands such as Wimpy, Mugg & Bean, Tashas, Steers, Debonairs and Milky Lane.