23/11/2016 11:58 SAST | Updated 23/11/2016 19:32 SAST

You Didn't Read Wrong -- SA CEOs Earn About 500 Times More Than Their Workers

Nobody bats an eyelid at poverty wages and shocking unemployment.

Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters
South Africa is one of the most consistently unequal countries in the world. Something's got to give.

A lot happened on the labour front this week. First, an expert panel set up by government proposed a R3,500 minimum wage, which was roundly slated by the public. Then Treasury said this could be bad news for the economy. And then Statistics South Africa gave us some actual bad news, and announced that unemployment has risen to a 13-year high.

In the background to all this, Quartz reported that South African CEOs are not only among the best paid in the world, but also earn about 500 times more than the average worker.

The average income in South Africa is $13,194, measured in GDP per capita adjusted to purchasing power in 2015 and 2016. The average CEO earned $7.14 million, 541 times more than the average income.Quartz

That's right. The average income in South Africa is R186,106 per year, and the average CEO earns about R100-million over the same period.

The data comes from a Bloomberg survey of executive pay, which found that South African CEOs are the seventh best compensated in the world. They're also right at the top of the list when you look at the CEO pay to average income ratios.

Basically, what this means is that we have one of the most unequal societies in the world. But we already knew that.

So the next time someone starts speaking about "radical and militant economic emancipation," you know why.