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Sasol Says Expat CEO Pay Boosted by Outstanding Work, Weak Rand

Sasol Ltd. Chief Executive Officer David Constable’s total pay rose 68 percent due to his “outstanding” work and is in line with the company’s policy of paying non-South Africans in dollars, it said after some shareholders voted against its wage policy.

“We recognize that executive remuneration is always going to spark heated debate,” Jacqui O’Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the Johannesburg-based company that’s the world’s biggest maker of gasoline from coal, said in an e-mailed response to questions today. “Ongoing discussions with shareholders are necessary but we are also cognizant that shareholder opinion on this issue is quite varied.”

More than 30 percent of shareholders voted against a non-binding advisory endorsement on the pay policy for the year ending June 30 next year, according to a Nov. 22 statement on Sasol’s annual general meeting results.

Public Investment Corp., South Africa’s state-owned pension fund manager that holds 13.5 percent of Sasol’s shares, voted against the policy, Johannesburg-based Business Day reported, citing corporate governance executive Deon Botha.

Constable’s total renumeration was 53.7 million rand ($5.3 million) for fiscal 2013 from 31.9 million rand a year earlier, according to Sasol’s annual report. The company’s profit climbed 25 percent after output at its synfuels unit increased, it said on Sept. 9.

The Canadian national’s pay package is U.S.-dollar based and will remain as such even if the rand strengthens, O’Sullivan said. The rand weakened 14 percent versus the dollar during the period, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

He received a short-term incentive amount of $1.3 million, the statement showed.

“Not only has the group had an excellent year, but the board also evaluated the CEO’s personal performance as having been outstanding in most areas of his performance scorecard; therefore, the short-term incentive award in 2013 was materially higher than in the previous year,” O’Sullivan said.

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