Zuma mulling salary increase proposal

2012-07-25 13:29

The Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers has recommended that President Jacob Zuma receive a R136 000 pay hike – to R2 622 561 a year.

The commission also recommended that all salaries for public office bearers, including ministers, members of Parliament, traditional leaders, Premiers and judges be increased by 5.5% for this financial year.

The increase will only be applied if Zuma accepts the recommendation.

This comes as wage talks between government and public service unions st the Public Service Coordinating and Bargaining Council have stalled with the state offering a 6.5% salary increase while unions demand 7%.

The commission’s recommended increase will take Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s salary to R2 360 360 a year. The increase would be backdated to April this year.

Ministers would earn over R2 million a year, Premiers almost R1.9 million, MECs over R1.65m, executive mayors about R1.05 million, members of provincial legislatures R860 787, and municipal councillors R401 866.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ‘s salary would increase to R2.36 million.

Other increases include:
» Chief magistrates who will earn R1.06 million

» High Court Judges who will earn R1.53 million

» Traditional kings who will pocket R978 321 a year

» Senior traditional leaders who will earn R179 451 a year

» Chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders: R693 216

» Members of the National House of Traditional Leaders: R285 409

» Judges in the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal would both earn R1, 888, 315 a year

» Deputy ministers’ salaries would increase from R1 566 089 to R652 224

Commission chairperson Judge Willie Seriti said the recommendation was presented to Zuma a month ago but there was a delay in the announcement of the recommendation due to the commission presenting the proposal to the speaker of the national assembly Max Sisulu.

Seriti said they had no idea when Zuma would make up his mind on the recommendation made by the commission.

Seriti said the commission consulted with the ministers of Finance, Justice and Constitutional Development and Public Service and Administration prior to making the recommendation to Zuma.

Zuma has in the past lowered the recommended salary increase to lower increases, citing inflation problems.

In 2009 Zuma approved an increase of 7% while the commission recommended 8%, in 2010 Zuma went lower to 5% when the commission had recommended 7% and last year he accepted the recommendation of a 5% increase in the packages of public office bearers.

The commission said the inflation forecasted by the South African Reserve Bank of a peak on 6.6% throughout 2012 and 5.5% in the final quarter of next year.

Seriti said not everyone was happy about the proposed increases and indicated that a number of public office bearers were unhappy about previous recommendations.

Magistrates have, in the past been, the unhappiest of all public office bearers, having challenged proposed salary increases in 2009, 2010 and last year.

Three cases had been lodged by magistrates at the North Gauteng High Court.

“One of the stakeholders told us ‘you don’t determine our salaries without us you must determine it with us’ and we told them if you want us to determine the salary with you must change the legislation,” said Seriti.

The commission had made inputs to amend the legislation, which established the commission, governing the determination of salary increases of public office bearers.

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