Zuma gives nod to ‘immoral, hypocritical’ pay hike

2011-09-20 14:47

President Jacob Zuma has accepted the recommendation to increase politicians’ salaries by 5%, backdated to April, while Parliament also gave him a similar pay rise.

Last month, Judge Willie Seriti, the chairperson of the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers, recommended to Zuma a 5% increase for the 2011/12 financial year.

The commission also recommended that salaries of public office bearers be increased by 5% last year, which Zuma endorsed.
The president’s salary can only be increased by Parliament, which gave him 5% today.

Zuma will now earn about R2 485 839, up from R2 367 466 last year.

Zuma’s decision to assent to the recommendations was published in a proclamation published in the Government Gazette on Friday.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will now R2 237 308 a year, up from R2 130 769 last year.

Cabinet ministers and their deputies will now earn R1 901 699 and R1 566 089 respectively, from R1 811 142 and R1 491 514 the previous year.

Salaries of MECs are similar to those of deputy ministers.

Premiers will now earn R1 789 873 compared to the previous R1 704 640 last year.

However, the salary hikes for politicians have not pleased the biggest public-sector union.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) described the move as “immoral, hypocritical and totally unacceptable”.

Nehawu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the increases were a slap in the faces of millions of unemployed South Africans.

“We would’ve expected that politicians in a country up there in terms of inequality to be in solidarity with the poor, unemployed and poorly paid workers,” he said.

Pamla said politicians across parties always differ on everything but their salary hikes.

Nehawu said Seriti like other judges was also beneficiaries of the system.

Judges’ salaries are also determined by the commission.

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