Cut all the fat in SA Cabinet

One of the smaller parties has included the idea that they want to scrap all the deputy minister positions in their election manifesto.


I’m not sure many South Africans understand the depth of the financial hole our country is in.

This week, somebody mentioned to me that he has read one of the smaller parties has included the idea that they want to scrap all the deputy minister positions in their election manifesto.

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“They can channel all the money they save to social development,” he said.

I agree that politicians get far too much money. President Cyril Ramaphosa gets around R4.15 million per year, or a whopping R345 000 per month.

But, of course, he has several other income streams to ensure that he can make ends meet.

Deputy President Paul Mashatile gets an annual salary of R3 million, ministers earn R2.58 million annually, while deputy ministers get paid R2.1 million annually to do whatever deputy ministers do.

The problem is that every deputy minister is also a member of parliament. If Ramaphosa fires our 36 deputy ministers, they become ordinary members of parliament, who get paid R1.2 million per year.

That’s a saving of R32.4 million per year. That’s a lot of money for ordinary citizens in a poverty-stricken country such as ours.

If Ramaphosa gives me that money, I can finally convert my garage into the home office I have dreamt of for so long. But it won’t solve anything.

If we channel that money to social development, each of the 18.5 million people who receive grants can get an extra 15c per month. Or a bonus of R1.75 once a year. I agree, fire the bunch of them.

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Cut our Cabinet to 20 ministers and let the president, the deputy president and other politicians take a pay cut. But that will merely be a symbolic gesture.

For a more substantial difference, we will have to look at the state’s entire salary expenditure. About 55 000 civil servants earn more than R1 million a year.

About 180 000 government employees earn between R600 000 and R1 million per annum – that’s between R50 000 and R84 000 per month – while almost half of all 1.3 million government employees earn over R350 000 per year.

Our economy is in crisis. Our foreign debt is spiralling out of control.

Do you have any idea where we can get the money to ease the pressure on our good, loyal taxpayers?

I do. Hint: It’s not by getting rid of the deputy ministers. But sack them anyway, I say