How much South Africa’s kings, queens and traditional leaders are paid

Government has published the official salaries it pays to kings, queens and other traditional leaders in South Africa.

The gazette – which applies retroactively from 1 April 2019 – covers a wide range of roles, including the national and provincial houses of traditional leaders.

Traditional kings and senior leaders are symbolic figureheads in the country with little political power.

However, these rulers play an important role in local disputes as well as in playing advisory roles to government – as well as in the lives of the traditional rural populations.

All these traditional leaders are paid by the South African government.

Note: NHTL = National House of Traditional Leaders | PHTL = Provincial House of Traditional Leaders

Province Salary
King/Queen R1 239 918
Chairperson: NHTL R933 270
Full-Time Chairperson: PHTL R768 678
Deputy Chairperson: NHTL R713 811
Full-Time Deputy Chairperson: PHTL R658 758
Full-Time Member: NHTL R415 113
Full-Time Member: PHTL R355 842
Senior Traditional Leader R270 942
Headmen/Headwomen R116 418

Wage freeze

In a government gazette published at the end of February, president Cyril Ramaphosa also confirmed that a number of senior officials including the deputy president and ministers would not be receiving an increase this year.

Other lower-ranking officials earning less than R1.5 million can expect to see increases of around 3%.

This aligns with comments made by finance minister Tito Mboweni in his 2019 Budget Speech in which he indicated that the public wage bill is unsustainable and emphasised that the national and provincial budgets will be reduced by R27 billion over the next three years.

To reduce the expenditure on remuneration, Mboweni said that members of Parliament, provincial legislatures and executives at public entities will not receive a salary increase during 2019/2020 financial year.

The official salaries are outlined below.

Position Total remuneration
Deputy President R2 825 470
Minister R2 401 633
Deputy Minister R1 977 795

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How much South Africa’s kings, queens and traditional leaders are paid