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Daily news update 23 June
Poor SA MPs need increases to their R1.1 million salaries to cope with cost of living, says Parliament
Amid the public outrage over the approval of salary increases for politicians and other government officials, Parliament says South African MPs, compared to their counterparts globally, earn less in salaries.
President Cyril Ramaphosa last week accepted the recommendations of the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office-Bearers to increase salaries by 3%.
Ramaphosa announced, in the government gazette, that the salary hikes would be backdated to April 2021 and apply to all categories of public office-bearers, including ministers and their deputies, premiers, MECs, MPs, Members of Provincial Legislatures (MPLs), traditional leaders and judges.
South Africa has officially ended all Covid-19 containment regulations in the country, including the wearing of masks indoors and in public settings, limits on gatherings, and border checks.
This comes after Health Minister Joe Phaahla repealed the regulations with a notice in the Government Gazette.
Arthur Fraser and Jacob Zuma had a mutually beneficial agreement which saw them do their best to keep each other out of prison, according to one of the findings of the final tranche of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture’s report, released by commission chair Justice Raymond Zondo on Wednesday night.
The former head of the State Security Agency and the former president are two of the most frequently reappearing characters in the report, with justice Zondo finding the men shared a mutually beneficial relationship, in which they each used their positions to blocked law enforcement from probing into the affairs of the other.
The Department of Home Affairs plans to issue a public request for proposals “in a few months’ time” for an ambitious R6 billion project to completely overhaul and rebuild South Africa’s six busiest border posts, Minister of Home Affairs Aaron Motsoaledi has confirmed.
Responding to a Moneyweb question during a joint briefing with Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Monday related to addressing trucking blockades, Dr Motsoaledi said the planned border post upgrade project is linked to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement and is to ensure the border posts have appropriate infrastructure.
Motsoaledi said the Beitbridge and Lebombo border posts must be completely overhauled.
Annual consumer price inflation accelerated by 0,7% to 6,5% in May, from 5,9% in April and March, making it the highest reading since January 2017 when the rate was 6,6%.
This increase can be directly attributed to spiralling food and fuel prices., and means that inflation has now exceeded the upper limit of the South African Reserve Bank’s (Sarb) monetary policy target range of 6%. This will definitely influence the next decision of the Sarb Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) when it meets again to determine the repo rate which will push up interest rates.