RBPlat's chief executive Steve Phiri was the highest-paid executive at the listed company after receiving a R19m total remuneration package in 2018. Photo: Reuters
JOHANNESBURG – Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s (RBPlat's) chief executive Steve Phiri was the highest-paid executive at the JSE-listed company after receiving a R19 million total remuneration package in 2018.

The remuneration included a R5.9m retention bonus, R5.6m guaranteed package and R2.8m vesting forfeitable share plan. He received R16m in 2017. The company said Phiri was responsible for leading the implementation and execution of the strategy, policies and business plans, the company said, adding that Phiri provided a link between the management and the board.

Martin Prinsloo, the chief financial officer and executive director, who stepped down last August, received R13.3m. Prinsloo had been with the company for nine years. His remuneration included a R3.9m total guaranteed package, a R4.2m retention bonus, and a R1.5m forfeitable share plan. Prinsloo’s total remuneration was R11m in 2017.

“Considering the prevailing market conditions, affordability and shareholders’ expectations, an average increase of 6.5percent was awarded to executives for the 2018 financial year,” the company said in its 2018 annual report.

The company also said executives and management had consistently been awarded lower increases than unionised employees over the past three years.

RBPlats said it spent R2.6billion on employee remuneration and benefits in 2018.

Employee costs represented 53.1percent of fixed costs in 2018 from 58.2percent in 2017.

It also said that executive performance was based 55percent on company performance, including safety, production targets, corporate governance and 45percent on individual performance.

The company reported two fatalities and no strike action in 2018.

Executive pay is a thorny issue in the mining industry. The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) lambasted Sibanye-Stillwater chief executive Neal Froneman for receiving R52m in 2017 despite high fatalities. There were 21 fatalities at Sibanye at June 2018.

RBPlat last week warned of potential disruptions coming from wage talks with the National Union of Mineworkers to replace the expired wage deal.

It also said that regional leadership elections within the union as well as the national elections were a risk.

Last week the company approached shareholders for a discounted R1bn capital raise to upgrade the Maseve concentrator plant and boost production at Styldrift and the Maseve concentrator.

RBPlats want to ramp-up the Styldrift mine to 230 000 tons a month by the third quarter of 2020 from 150 000 tons a month.

RBPlat said it had received undertakings from shareholders, including Royal Bafokeng Holdings, which had agreed to take up 75percent of the rights. The company acquired Maseve assets, including a concentrator from Platinum Group Metals, for $78m (R1.12billion) in total in 2018.