Min­is­ters, judges and MPs make pa­tri­otic salary sac­ri­fice

CityPress - - Business and Tenders - DEWALD VAN RENSBURG dewald.vrens­burg@city­press.co.za

The prob­a­ble 0% salary ad­just­ments for most se­nior pub­lic of­fice bear­ers – still to be rat­i­fied – will save the state about R100 mil­lion, while mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lors’ sub-in­fla­tion­ary in­creases can save an­other R100 mil­lion.

This would more or less pay for those of­fi­cials who are get­ting the stip­u­lated 6% in­crease. They com­prise lower-in­come earn­ers such as mag­is­trates and low-rank­ing tra­di­tional lead­ers, whose in­creases amount to R138 mil­lion.

The In­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion for the Re­mu­ner­a­tion of Pub­lic Of­fice Bear­ers pub­lished its an­nual rec­om­men­da­tions last week, ar­gu­ing for most high-rank­ing state of­fi­cials to make a “pa­tri­otic sac­ri­fice” and forgo a cost-of-liv­ing ad­just­ment this year.

This in­cludes the pres­i­dent and his en­tire Cab­i­net, deputy min­is­ters, MPs, judges and se­nior tra­di­tional lead­ers.

“It would be in­ap­pro­pri­ate for the lead­ers of the coun­try ... to re­ceive an in­crease, while many cit­i­zens feel the pinch of eco­nomic and fis­cal down trends,” said the com­mis­sion, whose rec­om­men­da­tions are usu­ally trans­lated di­rectly into the ac­tual in­creases of­fi­cials re­ceive.

Should the com­mis­sion’s coun­sel be fol­lowed, th­ese are the pro­jected sav­ings:

By hav­ing the pres­i­dent, his deputy, min­is­ters and deputy min­is­ters all forgo an in­crease, the state saves about R9.5 mil­lion.

Sta­tis­tics pro­vided by the pres­i­dency on the num­ber of of­fi­cials in each salary bracket also sug­gest that money saved on par­lia­men­tar­i­ans’ salaries will to­tal R24 mil­lion.

At the pro­vin­cial level – in­clud­ing the

What do you think about the move to freeze the earn­ings of pub­lic of­fice bear­ers?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the keyword PAY and tell us what you think. Iin­clude your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50 pre­miers and pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­tures – R34 mil­lion will be saved by giv­ing ev­ery­one a 0% in­crease this year.

The coun­try’s 1 620 mag­is­trates will re­ceive a nor­mal 6% in­crease – but the 237 judges will not, sav­ing an­other R26 mil­lion.

Should top tra­di­tional lead­ers – in­clud­ing 13 kings or queens – also get 0%, R1.5 mil­lion will be saved.

Mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lors will re­ceive a sub-in­fla­tion­ary 4% ad­just­ment, even though the com­mis­sion notes in its re­port that “there was a strong view that they too ... should be ex­pected to sac­ri­fice an ad­just­ment to their salaries”.

South Africa has about 8 000 coun­cil­lors, and the dif­fer­ence be­tween a 6% and 4% in­crease amounts to a sav­ing of about R100 mil­lion for the state.

The lower rungs of the tra­di­tional lead­er­ship sys­tem will re­ceive a nor­mal 6% in­crease. Even though th­ese pay­ments are rel­a­tively small, there are 829 se­nior tra­di­tional lead­ers and 7 399 head­men who re­ceive an ad­just­ment. Th­ese in­creases amount to R51 mil­lion.

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