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By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist

Bumper salary increases lined up for Ramaphosa, his deputy and ministers

Finance Minister Godongwana had proposed a 0% increase for the cabinet, MPs and an increase for lower level senior officials.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s annual salary and benefits will increase from R2,9 million to just over R3 million from April should the 3% proposed increment be approved.

The Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers proposed salary and benefits increase for 2022 has been published in the government gazette.

The commission consulted with the ministers at Treasury, Justice and Constitutional Development and the office of the Chief Justice as required, before making its proposals.

The commission is responsible for making recommendations for salaries and benefits of the president, his deputy, ministers, deputy ministers, premiers, MPs, justices, judges and magistrates and other senior government officials.

Judge Mashangu Monica Leeuw is the chairperson of the remuneration commission.

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Deputy President David Mabuza‘s pay and benefits will increase from R2,8m to R2,9m.

In reply to the commission, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana suggested no salary increase for all categories or only an increase for lower level officials.

“However, the minister cautioned that retaining salaries of the lower end such as MPs, MPLs and senior managers at zero percent for extended period of time, may not be sustainable as it would have a negative impact on pensionable emoluments and possibly impact on morale,” read the commission’s note in the gazette.

READ MORE: Budget proposes public sector wage freeze for three years

In recommending a 3% increase, said the commission said, the state of government and the economy, the public wage bill and the impact of increments of on the fiscus were taken into consideration.

Only the president can approve the proposed increments, while his salary is approved by Parliament.

In 2020, Ramaphosa and his cabinet took a three month pay cut of 33% in their salaries, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A portion of the salaries, Ramaphosa said at the time, would be donated to the Solidarity Fund.

Last year, the commission proposed a no increase for all public office bearers across the state, which Ramaphosa ratified, resulting in a salary freeze across the board.

Apart from the salaries, ministers receive vehicles, VIP drivers and protection by the police.

Their spouses may travel for official purposes at the expense of the relevant department and travel in business class, using the cheapest of three prices.

They also live in state-owned houses with state-of-the-art security services.

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