Where are Black CEOs? Only 5 Black CEOs in the JSE Top 40 Companies

The exclusion of black people from occupying CEO positions perpetuate “economic apartheid” and maintains South Africa’s strict racial hierarchy.

Where are Black CEOS? Only 5 Black CEOs in the JSE Top 40 Companies
CEO - fluorescent Neon tube Sign on brickwork christitzeimaging.com / Shutterstock.com

Moving away from an all-white management set up designed under apartheid makes business sense to right-thinking South Africans – but it seems the more things change the more they stay the same.

There are only five black CEOs who head up Top 40 companies listed on the JSE.

The Top 40 is an index that investors monitor as an overall benchmark for the local stock exchange.

In that regard, it is my sincere hope that when the time comes to replace Shameel Joosub at Vodacom, which is owned by mobile phone giant Vodafone, the board will select another black CEO.

Better still the ideal replacement should be a black woman. Read: Is Yolanda Cuba being prepared to succeed Vodacom’s Shameel Joosub?

It was also encouraging to see Standard Bank do away with joint CEOs positions last September, enabling Sim Tshabalala to be the sole men at the helm.

That said, Sasol and recently Investec were bedeviled by the phenomenon of joint CEOs. With Bongani Nqwababa as a joint CEO with Stephen Cornell of the petrochemicals giant and Investec’s Fani Titi, who is partnered with Hendrik du Toit.

Imperial also has a black CEO in Osman Arbee, who was appointed in 30 April following the resignation of Mark Lamberti.

Clearly, Black CEOs are not being hired by the JSE Top 40 companies.

Joosub, who assume his top position at Vodacom in 1 September 2012, has the longest tenure of the four black CEOs on this list.

Although the number of black executives has increased somewhat in the past 24 years, representation of black CEOs is not improving on the Top 40 companies in the JSE.

It is worse for black women. They are not featured at all.

That said, Maria Ramos is the only white women leading a Top 40 company in South Africa as a CEO of Barclays Africa.

For whatever reasons corporate South Africa does not appear to be willing or able to change race representation in top management.

Black people who are properly qualified to lead any Top 40 JSE Companies, with a combined market value of R9.2 trillion, are being overlooked even where their expertise are superior to other candidates.

The exclusion of black people from occupying CEO positions perpetuate “economic apartheid” and maintains South Africa’s strict racial hierarchy.

Something needs to be done urgently to change this untenable situation.

See Below A List of CEOs Leading South Africa’s Top 40 Companies on the JSE:





1 AL NOOR Danie Meintjes


White R78 billion
2 ANGLO AMERICAN Mark Cutifani White R418 billion
3 ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan Indian National R42 billion
4 ASPEN PHARMACARE Stephen Saad White R112 billion
5 BARCLAYS AFRICA Maria Ramos White (Women) R138 billion
6 BID CORPORATION LTD Bernard Berson White R88 billion
7 BHP BILLITON Andrew Stewart Mackenzie White R595 billion
8 BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO Nicandro Durante White R1,5 trillion
9 COMPAGNIE FIN RICHEMONT Johann Peter Rupert White R609 billion
10 CAPITEC Gerrie Fourie White R101 billion
11 DISCOVERY Adrian Gore White R104 billion
12 FIRSTRAND Johan Burger White R344 billion
13 FOSCHINI A. Doug Murray White R45 billion
14 GOLD FIELDS  Nicholas J. Holland White R37 billion
15 GROWTHPOINT Leon Norbert Sasse White R82 billion
16 INVESTEC PLC Fani Titi / Hendrik du Toit Black/White R45 billion
17 IMPERIAL Osman Arbee Black R42 billion
18 LIFE HEALTHCARE André Meyer White R41 billion
19 MONDI PLC Peter Oswald White R127 billion
20 MR PRICE Stuart I. Bird White R67 billion
21 MTN Rob Shuter White R215 billion
22 NEDBANK Michael Brown White R142 billion
23 NASPERS Bob van Dijk White R1, 4 trillion
24 NEPI ROCKCASTLE PLC Alexandru Morar/ Spirous Noussis White/White R72 billion
25 OLD MUTUAL Bruce Hemphill White R203 billion
26 REDEFINE PROPERTIES Andrew Joseph Konig White R64 billion
27 REMGRO Jan Jonathan Durand White R111 billion
28 RMB James Formby White R103 billion
29 REINET INVESTMENTS Wilhelm van Zy White R46 billion
30 SAPPI Stephen Robert Binnie White R46 billion
31 STANDARD BANK Sim Tshabalala Black R335 billion
32 SHOPRITE Pieter Engelbrecht White R137 billion
33  SANLAM Ian M. Kirk White R171 billion
34  SASOL Bongani Nqwababa / Stephen Cornell Black/White R300 billion
35 SPAR Graham O’Connor White R37 billion
36 THE BIDVEST GROUP Lindsay Peter Ralphs White R74 billion
37 TIGER BRANDS Lawrence MacDougall


White R64 billion
38 TRUWORTHS Michael Mark, White R37 billion
39 VODACOM Shameel Joosub Black R264 billion
40 WOOLWORTHS Ian Moir White R64 billion


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