Deputy ministers and MECs now make R2 million per year, after office bearers get an increase

Business Insider SA

  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has given salary increases to his ministers, members of Parliament, and provincial office bearers.
  • That means deputy ministers, and provincial executives, now make a bit more than R2 million per year.
  • Deputy president David Mabuza and National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula don't quite make R3 million per year yet.
  • Various groups, including alliance partner Cosatu, had urged Ramaphosa to reject the recommended 3% increase for office bearers.
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A South African deputy cabinet minister now has a multi-million rand annual salary, after President Cyril Ramaphosa late on Tuesday updated the pay scales for the country's top holders of public office.

Total remuneration for deputy ministers, including payments towards a pension, now comes to R2,037,129 per year, up from the previous R1,977,795.

Every member of a provincial executive council, or MEC, and the deputy speakers of Parliament's two houses also earn that salary.

The speakers of the National Assembly of Provinces and the National Council of Provinces, and the deputy president, are nearing R3 million per year, but aren't quite there yet: after this round of increases their total pay comes to R2,910,234 per year.

Cabinet ministers now earn R2,473,682.

Ramaphosa gazetted the 3% increase in salary for the officials as recommended by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers, despite strenuous objections to giving the highest-paid members of the government a salary bump in the face of the economic woes due to the pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

After the commission made public its recommendation, ANC alliance member Cosatu publicly called on Ramaphosa to reject the "tone deaf and embarrassing" proposal.

"The elite of this country is ganging up and declaring a class war against the taxpayers and the poor," Cosatu said at the time. "The huge salaries and benefits that are paid to political office bearers and senior bureaucrats are the source of the existing inequalities and unacceptable income disparities that currently exist in the public service."

The commission said that the finance ministry had recommended a zero increase, but had also warned no increases could not be maintained for tool long, because that could “impact on morale”.

At the time of the recommendation – before Russia invaded Ukraine – inflation forecasts were in the region of 4% to 5%.  

At the time, the commission calculated that the national executive and deputy ministers were paid just under R170 million per year in total, while the salary bill for members of Parliament came in not much under R500 million.

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