Molefe Seeletsa

Compiled by Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

R81 million handshake for departing MPs, ministers

Some MPs and ministers will not be part of the seventh democratic Parliament.

Politicians not returning to Parliament after the 2024 national and provincial elections will not leave empty-handed.

At least R81 million has reportedly been set aside to pay outgoing members of of Parliament (MPs) and Cabinet ministers for their loss-of-office gratuities.

This is a result of MPs opting for retirement, while others are set to lose their jobs due to their parties losing seats in the National Assembly.

Loss-of-office gratuity

This year’s general election did not produce a clear winner, marking the end of the ANC’s 30-year majority.

The party’s share of the vote dropped to 40% from 57% in 2019.

Consequently, the ANC secured only 159 seats, down from the 230 seats the party held in 2019.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Freedom Front Plus (FF+) also experienced election setbacks, losing five and four seats respectively.

The Congress of the People (COPE) lost their two seats and will not be in Parliament.

Among the notable MPs and ministers not returning to Parliament are Defence Minister Thandi Modise; Public Service and Administration Minister Noxolo Kiviet and International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor.

ALSO READ: Several ANC members, including Cele and Pandor, not on parly list

Labour and Employment Minister Thulas Nxesi, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, and Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, will also not be returning to Parliament.

Despite this, these politicians will still be entitled to a loss-of-office gratuity in addition to their pension benefits and other post-retirement perks, including medical aid and free flights.

According to Parliament’s spokesperson Moloto Mothapo, the loss-of-office benefits will be pulled from the National Treasury’s national revenue fund.

“The gratuity is a direct charge against the national revenue fund. The total number [of MPs to be paid] is not yet determined,” Mothapo told Sunday Times.

Salary increases for MPs, ministers

Meanwhile, returning and new MPs will receive a salary bump once they are sworn in and are able to carry out their duties.

Cabinet ministers, premiers and members of the provincial legislatures will also get a salary increase.

This is after President Cyril Ramaphosa approved 2.5% salary hike for public office bearers for the 2024/2025 financial year.

Ramapohosa signed off the increases a day before the elections.

The president’s approval was officially confirmed with the publication of a notice in the government gazette on 5 June.

READ MORE: ‘When I came out of my mother’s womb, I was not a minister,’ says Cele [VIDEO]

Ministers will now earn R2.69 million a year, while deputy ministers’ salaries rose to R2.22 million.

The new speaker of the National Assembly’s salary increased to R3.16 million, matching the salary of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) chairperson.

The National Assembly deputy speaker and NCOP deputy chairperson will each receive R2.2 million, while the house chair of chairs will earn R2.1 million.

Ordinary MPs and permanent delegates of the NCOP will each earn R1.27 million annually.

The salary increases will take effect retroactively from 1 April 2024.

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