Public servants in South Africa are democratically elected and tasked with representing the needs of ordinary South African citizens. Office bearers, from ward councillors to Member of Parliament earn earn salaries for their roles as public servants.
According to Africa Check: “Cabinet Ministers’ salaries in 2015 were increased by 4.4% (R80 149) from R1 821 577 to R1 901 726.”
The total amount for cabinet salaries for 2015/2016 for President Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, 35 ministers and 38 deputy ministers amounted to R158 681 407.
In 2015 the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers recommended that public office bearers earning more than R1 million will receive a 5% increase.
The Speaker of National Parliament’s salary will rise from R2.47 million to R2.6 million, while the Deputy President’s salary is also expected to rise to R2.6 million.
Ministers’ salaries are expected to rise from R2.1 million to R2.21 million, while Deputy Ministers’ salaries are set to increase from R1.73 million to R1.82 million.
In terms of the President’s salary, the commission makes its recommendations and this is debated in Parliament. The members of Parliament then vote on whether or not the President should get a raise.
A source of much debate over the years has been the number of perks that Cabinet members and members of Parliament get. The Ministerial Handbook is a guide to the benefits and privileges that members of Parliament are entitled to. Most recently, the Minister of Finance has expressed a need for government to tighten belts in terms of spending and additional perks.
As it stands, members of cabinet get 25% of their salary towards a private vehicle, its running and maintenance and payments towards comprehensive insurance. The state also pays for renovations of cabinet ministers’ homes.
Cabinet Salaries continue to be a source of much contention among the country’s citizen, while the tide seems to be slowly turning with Members of Parliament.