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Monday, 29 April 2024 23:12

Sibanye-Stillwater stumbles under Froneman as his pay falls to R55m.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The pay of Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Neal Froneman, has dropped from the R300m he earned in the 2021 financial year to R55m in the year to end-December.

The mining giant, under the leadership of Froneman, is grappling with a series of impairments and liabilities that threaten its future.

Froneman recently said that the fall of Platinum Group Metals (PGMS) prices had the most significant impact on Sibanye's business following a post-Covid boom.

The price of PGMS dropped significantly amid destocking from the auto industry and weaker-than-expected demand from China.

PGMs are primarily used in catalytic converters in internal combustion engines (ICE) to reduce their emissions. However, the rise of electric cars has called into question the need for a tool that reduces emissions.

For the financial year ended 31 December 2023, the group reported a R37.9 billion loss after taking an impairment against its US palladium mine.

Amid the group's financial woes, it said it laid off 2,600 workers in February. This was to ensure the sustainability of its South African PGM operations.

However, the jobs bloodbath is set to continue, with the group again entering into Section 189A consultations earlier this month.

4,000 jobs in South Africa are on the line in the latest set of retrenchments, with the group hoping to restructure its gold operations and Southern Africa region services functions.

The group's executives also felt the pain amid the group's struggles, with the total single-figure remuneration among the ten highest-ranking executives dropping from R795 million in 2023 to R588 million in 2022 and then R235 million in 2023.

Froneman's pay has often been a point of contention, with the CEO earning an eye-watering R291 million in single-figure remuneration in 2021, even if a large amount of this was linked to long-term share incentives awarded in 2018.

The figure then dropped to just over R198 million in 2022 before hitting R56 million in 2023.

Amid the group's financial woes after the last year, its share price dropped from around R40 a share a year ago to roughly R22 per share today.