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:





1AL NOORDanie Meintjes


WhiteR78 billion
2ANGLO AMERICANMark CutifaniWhiteR418 billion
3ANGLOGOLD ASHANTISrinivasan VenkatakrishnanIndian NationalR42 billion
4ASPEN PHARMACAREStephen SaadWhiteR112 billion
5BARCLAYS AFRICAMaria RamosWhite (Women)R138 billion
6BID CORPORATION LTDBernard BersonWhiteR88 billion
7BHP BILLITONAndrew Stewart MackenzieWhiteR595 billion
8BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCONicandro DuranteWhiteR1,5 trillion
9COMPAGNIE FIN RICHEMONTJohann Peter RupertWhiteR609 billion
10CAPITECGerrie FourieWhiteR101 billion
11DISCOVERYAdrian GoreWhiteR104 billion
12FIRSTRANDJohan BurgerWhiteR344 billion
13FOSCHINIA. Doug MurrayWhiteR45 billion
14GOLD FIELDS Nicholas J. HollandWhiteR37 billion
15GROWTHPOINTLeon Norbert SasseWhiteR82 billion
16INVESTEC PLCFani Titi / Hendrik du ToitBlack/WhiteR45 billion
17IMPERIALOsman ArbeeBlackR42 billion
18LIFE HEALTHCAREAndré MeyerWhiteR41 billion
19MONDI PLCPeter OswaldWhiteR127 billion
20MR PRICEStuart I. BirdWhiteR67 billion
21MTNRob ShuterWhiteR215 billion
22NEDBANKMichael BrownWhiteR142 billion
23NASPERSBob van DijkWhiteR1, 4 trillion
24NEPI ROCKCASTLE PLCAlexandru Morar/ Spirous NoussisWhite/WhiteR72 billion
25OLD MUTUALBruce HemphillWhiteR203 billion
26REDEFINE PROPERTIESAndrew Joseph KonigWhiteR64 billion
27REMGROJan Jonathan DurandWhiteR111 billion
28RMBJames FormbyWhiteR103 billion
29REINET INVESTMENTSWilhelm van ZyWhiteR46 billion
30SAPPIStephen Robert BinnieWhiteR46 billion
31STANDARD BANKSim TshabalalaBlackR335 billion
32SHOPRITEPieter EngelbrechtWhiteR137 billion
33 SANLAMIan M. KirkWhiteR171 billion
34 SASOLBongani Nqwababa / Stephen CornellBlack/WhiteR300 billion
35SPARGraham O’ConnorWhiteR37 billion
36THE BIDVEST GROUPLindsay Peter RalphsWhiteR74 billion
37TIGER BRANDSLawrence MacDougall


WhiteR64 billion
38TRUWORTHSMichael Mark,WhiteR37 billion
39VODACOMShameel JoosubBlackR264 billion
40WOOLWORTHSIan MoirWhiteR64 billion



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