Johannesburg - The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), the biggest South African investor, voted against the executive pay of the nation’s biggest gold and platinum mining companies because it failed to track performance and was high relative to peers.
The state-run PIC, which manages civil servants’ pensions, had rejected pay plans at Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Gold Fields, AngloGold Ashanti, Sibanye Gold and Royal Bafokeng Platinum, it said yesterday. The PIC voted at the companies’ annual general meetings in April and May.
Local mining companies have been resisting demands from labour unions for above-inflation wage gains for underground workers, saying they are unaffordable. The PIC said Gold Fields’ proposal to hold the pay of then-chairwoman Mamphela Ramphele at R2.4 million meant it was “too high” at almost double the median figure of resource peers.
“The remuneration policy appears to be inconsistent with best practice,” said the PIC, the biggest owner with 7.3 percent. “There are no clear defined group performance targets.”
Gold Fields, which spun off most of its domestic assets to create Sibanye this year, paid chief executive Nick Holland R45.3m last year, up 38 percent, including R24.3m of share payouts originally awarded in 2009.
Unions are demanding pay for entry-level underground workers at gold mines of as much as R12 500 a month, up from R5 000 now.
The Chamber of Mines, representing gold companies, has offered an inflation-matching increase of 5.5 percent to R5 275 a month, excluding allowances and bonuses.
The PIC said that Amplats had “no clearly defined performance targets and sustainability measures.” The PIC is the biggest Amplats shareholder after Anglo American.
Amplats and Gold Fields did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Royal Bafokeng also did not immediately reply to queries.
Stewart Bailey, the head of investor relations at AngloGold, was not immediately able to comment.
“We’re a new company having been spun out of Gold Fields so our remuneration of non-executive directors is similar to that of Gold Fields,” Sibanye spokesman James Wellsted said yesterday. The company had “employed an external agency to help” realign pay, Wellsted said.
Ramphele, who quit as chairwoman of Gold Fields in February, was paid R2.3m last year, according to the company’s annual report. – Bloomberg