Parliament has issued a public statement in which it aims to ‘clarify’ and ‘put into proper context’ the latest salary increases for parliamentarians and other public office holders in South Africa.
“Some media outlets have suggested that the 3% salary increase for public office holders approved by the President earlier this month, on the recommendation of the Independent Commission for the Compensation of Public Office Holders, was muted. . Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.
He added that public office holders like ministers last had pay rises in April 2019 when the commission recommended a 2.8% increase.
“Due to the prevailing and difficult economic conditions, it was important that the remuneration of public office holders be adjusted to enable them to cope with the increased cost of living.
“The average consumer inflation rate has increased, and for 2021 it was 4.5%, which is higher than the averages recorded for 2020 (3.3%) and 2019 (4.1%) – which results in the purchasing power of disposable income becoming lower.
Another important factor that Parliament says needs to be highlighted – an issue that is sometimes misinterpreted, he said – is the fact that MPs’ salaries are published as total pay and not plus costs.
“For instance, if an ordinary MP earns, say, R1.1 million a yearwhich includes the base salary, a flexible part, a travel allowance, a political office allowance and a contribution to the pension fund.
“Other deductions which will be taken from salary include tax (Pay as You Earn), medical aid, party contributions, accommodation in the village and others authorized by the individual MP such as a surety or a down payment on the car.”
While it is understandable that the remuneration of public officials often sparks public debate given the transparency with which they are treated, the constant scrutiny of their work as well as the socio-economic challenges facing the country, it is to find that they do not determine their own remuneration, Parliament said.
“An independent commission is charged with this responsibility; he submits any decision to the president for approval before publication. Unlike other countries, parliamentarians have no role in the process of determining their salary or annual raises.
Good pay for a good job
It is also vital that public officials are fairly remunerated in accordance with their scale of responsibilities under the Constitution, Parliament has said.
“For example, there are a total of 341 parliamentarians (minus ministers, deputy ministers and the vice-president) in the National Assembly who are responsible for overseeing state institutions made up of hundreds of thousands of employees, including senior managers.
“Compared to the salaries of civil servants, parliamentarians earn at a level equal to that of junior cadres.”
“In analyzing and reviewing the compensation of public officials, we also need to compare it to that of their counterparts around the world, especially in similar developing countries,” the parliament said.
“A desk survey suggests that South African public officials earn nowhere more than those in countries with similar GDP and population, among other considerations.”
It should also be noted that, as an added safeguard, unlike several other countries, South African parliamentarians are not permitted to take on any other remunerative responsibilities outside of their parliamentary work. If they undertake such work, they are obliged to report it for review under the code of ethics, the parliament said.
“By subscribing to a system of checks and balances that prevents them from having a say in determining their remuneration, parliamentarians have shown that they understand that public service is not about personal enrichment or luxury.
“In this regard, public officials would be the last to insist on anything beyond fair, equitable and sustainable compensation independently determined and commensurate with their obligations under the Constitution and the law. .
President Cyril Ramaphosa approved the salaries of a number of high-level government and parliamentary posts in a gazette published last week (June 14).
The President announced that salaries will take effect retroactively from April 1, 2021, with compensation structured as follows:
- A share of basic salary equal to 60% of the total package, which constitutes the insured salary;
- An amount of R120,000 per year pursuant to Section 8(1)(d) of the Income Tax Act;
- Employer contribution to pension benefits equal to 22.5% of pensionable earnings.
- A flexible part for the remaining amount of the total remuneration.
Based on these latest salaries, Vice President David Mabuza will now receive R2,910,234, an increase of nearly R100,000 from his total compensation package last year.
In comparison, the country’s ministers and deputy ministers will now receive R2,473,682 and R2,037,129 respectively.
|deputy president||R2 910 234|
|Minister||R2 473 682|
|Deputy Minister||R2 037 129|
MPs and other legislative figures also received raises, with National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula set to take home more than 2.9 million rand. Opposition leader John Steenhuisen received a R1.64 million pay rise.
|Speaker: National Assembly||R2 910 234|
|President: NCOP||R2 910 234|
|Vice-President: National Assembly||R2 037 129|
|Vice President: NCOP||R2 037 129|
|Speaker of the Chamber||R1 938 963|
|Chief Whip: Majority Party||R1 648 481|
|Chief Whip: NCOP||R1 648 481|
|Parliamentary Advisor: President||R1 648 481|
|Parliamentary adviser: Vice-president||R1 648 481|
|Leader of the Opposition||R1 648 481|
|chairman of a committee||R1 540 628|
|Deputy Chief Whip: Majority Party||R1 386 619|
|Chief Whip: Largest Minority Party||R1 386 619|
|Leader of a minority party||R1 386 619|
|Whip||R1 286 713|
|Member: National Assembly||R1 172 071|
|Permanent delegate: NCOP||R1 172 071|
Read: Ramaphosa approves pay rises for government officials – here’s what they’re earning now