South African politicians are equally known for their robust debates in Parliament, for corruption, for fighting for the rights of the poor and for their salaries which are often considered to be exorbitant.
According to Payscale, the lowest paid South African politician, the local councillor, earns about R510 000 per annum. This is despite the fact that the bulk of South Africa’s 264 municipalities incurred irregular expenditure in 2013/2014. Reports indicated that only 17% of municipalities had clean audits, while reports found that irregular expenditure at South African municipalities tops R11 billion, now that is scary!
The average salary in South Africa is R210 000 per annum.
Despite these irregularities, the South African Local Government Association (Salga) wants councillors to earn the same as Members of Parliament, because it believes their duties are similar.
More on South African Politicians’ salaries:
- City Committee Chairpersons: R875 000 a year
- Members of the Financial Legislature: R904 000 a year
- Members of Parliament: R1.03 million a year
- Mayor: R1.23 million
- Premiers: R2.17 million
- Ministers: R2. 1 million
- Deputy President: R2.6 million
- President: R2.8 million
It’s often been said that President Zuma presides over one of the most bloated cabinets in the world, with about 35 ministers and 37 deputy ministers.
The National Assembly has 400 members, with varying roles. For instance, the Speaker of Parliament, who earns R2.6 million, is required to act impartially and to uphold the rules of Parliament.
In addition, to ensure proper functioning of the House, presiding officers are assisted by the whips.
In South Africa, the President has the final say regarding South African Politicians’ Salaries. In February 2016, President Zuma increased the salaries of political office bearers across the country by 4.4 %. In turn, 172 Members of Parliament voted in favour of an increase of the President’s salary, while 81 voted against it.