Johannesburg – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has frozen salaries of government ministers and other office-bearers for a second straight year.
Announcing the measures this week, the president said the move was in line with recommendations made by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers earlier in 2021.
The recommendations are based on consultations with the finance and justice ministers, chief justice, Lower Courts Remuneration Committee, and the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
“The commission has considered the fiscal condition of the country demonstrated in the previous financial years (2018/2019 and 2019/2020), the state’s wage bill and the impact of Public Office Bearers’ salary increment on the fiscus and general economic status of the country which has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, affordability of the fiscus, relevant legislation and all other factors referred to above. As a result, the commission has recommended that there be no increment (zero percent) to the remuneration of all POBs’ categories,” President Ramaphosa said.
Last year, the recommendation was that government employees who earn more than R1.5 million (about US$100,000) per annum should get a three percent increase, a move that was ultimately rejected by the president who imposed a freeze for top earners.
For 2021, the Deputy President, Speaker of the National Assembly, and Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces are each entitled to a package of R2,825,470. Ministers will be paid R2,401,633 and deputy ministers will get a pay package of R1,977,795.
Provincial premiers will get R2,260,409 this year, while executive council members will be paid R1,977,795. Permanent delegates of the National Council of Provinces will be paid R1,137,933.
President Ramaphosa’s salary of R2.99 million must be ratified by Parliament.
Last year, at the start of the country’s hard lockdown, President Ramaphosa and his cabinet contributed 33 percent of their salaries to the Solidarity Fund for three months.