The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has slammed proposed wage increases for senior government officials in South Africa, calling it a ‘class war’ against the country’s taxpayers and the poor.
The country’s largest trade federation was reacting to the latest recommendations made by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers which has proposed a 3% increase in remuneration across all categories of public office bearers.
While this increase is well below inflation, Cosatu noted that many of these senior officials would still be earning multi-million rand salaries.
“Load shedding, the rising cost of living, corruption and a stagnant economy have all happened under the watch and leadership of all political office bearers. They do not deserve the packages they currently earn – let alone an increase in their salaries,” it said.
“The elite of this country are ganging up and declaring a class war against the taxpayers and the poor. The huge salaries and benefits that are paid to political office bearers and senior bureaucrats are the source of the existing inequalities and unacceptable income disparities that currently exist in the public service.”
Cosatu added that other public servants such as police officers, nurses and teachers will have to work for nine years before earning an annual salary of one of these offices bearers, with some senior politicians earning well over R2 million a year.
“It is about time that the terms of reference of this commission are extended to require it to consult with the public and not only Members of Cabinet who have a direct conflict of interest in its recommendations.”
It should be noted that these salary increases are not final and will need to be confirmed by the president. Parliament is responsible for approving Ramaphosa’s salary as president.