Cellphones, R1-million salaries, free flights and airport parking - these are some of the perks awaiting new MPs

Business Insider SA
The National Assembly of Parliament.
  • The newly elected members of parliament can expect a host of  benefits when they are sworn in.
  • Benefits include domestic travel, free accommodation, cellphones and stationery.
  • All members of parliament also earn a minimum salary of R1.1 million a year.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

When the 400 newly elected members of the national assembly, and 90 members of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), are sworn in on May 22, they can expect a host of benefits. 

Aside from a minimum R1.1 million annual salary, each member will also get accommodation, travel expenses and transport for their dependents.

Also read: KwaZulu-Natal will have a bigger say in Parliament after the elections – at the expense of the Eastern Cape

Khuthala Noah, parliamentary media relations manager, told Business Insider South Africa that the benefits are continually reviewed and updated to cater for changing needs.

She said perks for the upcoming MP term include:

  • 88 domestic journeys per year which can either be by air, train, bus or vehicle.
  • Transport to and from South African airports.
  • Parking at South African airports.
  • Transport of dependents.
  • Relocation costs.
  • “Tools of trade”, which include mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
  • Equipment, furniture and stationery for MPs’ offices inside the national assembly. 
  • Personal accident insurance.
  • Accommodation at the parliamentary villages in Cape Town.
  • Daily transport to and from the villages to parliament.

MPs will also have access to administrative support to execute their responsibilities, as well as free lunches often served at portfolio meetings, Noah said.

Despite MPs not getting a salary increase in the 2018/19 financial year, their R92,245 monthly salary places them at the top 1% of earners in the country. The minimum wage in South Africa is R3,500.

Also read: While voter turnout was low, new numbers show there was massive online interest in the elections

Chairs of parliamentary committees can expect to earn higher salaries of R1.45 million a year. The leader of the opposition gets R1.6 million a year, the deputy speaker R1.97 million and the speaker R2.8 million.

In total, the national assembly spends close to R600 million on MP salaries annually - enough to build 5,400 RDP houses at a cost of R110,000 per house.

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