President Cyril Ramaphosa says that government will not scrap the numerous benefits or salaries offered to members of parliament, as some already struggle to make ends meet.
Ramaphosa said that MPs have not received salary increases in either 2020 or 2021, with the president vetoing recommendations made by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers.
“I kept cutting back because I felt that as public representatives, we should not be enjoying the largesse in a way that would bring out the ire of our people.
“I felt that we need to be constrained and have fewer benefits in terms of wage increase or salary increases.”
Ramaphosa said that it was very difficult to take benefits away from MPs, although it might be considered at a later date.
“For now, I think that MPs have really been cut to the bone. They have had no meaningful increase for quite a while and they may seem to many people that they are living it up and having a really great life, and believe me they are not.”
Ramaphosa said that it was problematic for MPs to work in Cape Town but live much further away. This means that MPs essentially have two homes – one where they live and one where they work.
He added that MPs are often time-bound to about five years, which means that they often keep their families at a separate home rather than uprooting them and bringing them to Cape Town.
“You buy one loaf of bread at home, you have to buy one here. You buy two loaves, two TVs, two of nearly everything. The work we impose on them is quite costly and many of them don’t end up making ends meet.”
Comments start 59 minutes into embedded video.
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) June 3, 2021
How much they earn
South Africa’s National Assembly has 400 members. The number of seats that a party has in the Assembly is in proportion to the number of voters that voted for it in the elections.
Ramaphosa approved the latest salaries for members of parliament in May based on recommendations made by Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers.
The recommendations are based on consultations with the minister of finance, the minister of Justice, the chief justice and Lower Courts Remuneration Committee, and the Department of Cooperative 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.”
The data shows that a member of the national assembly can expect to earn, R1,137,933 in total remuneration – excluding benefits. A permanent delegate of the National Council of Provinces can expect to earn the same.
Party whips and leaders of opposition parties can expect to earn between R1.3 million and R1.6 million.
|Speaker: National Assembly||R2 825 470|
|Chairperson: NCOP||R2 825 470|
|Deputy Speaker: National Assembly||R1 977 795|
|Deputy Chairperson: NCOP||R1 977 795|
|House Chairperson||R1 882 488|
|Chief Whip: Majority Party||R1 600 467|
|Chief Whip: NCOP||R1 600 467|
|Parliamentary Council: President||R1 600 467|
|Parliamentary Council: Deputy President||R1 600 467|
|Leader of Opposition||R1 600 467|
|Chairperson of a Committee||R1 495 755|
|Deputy Chief Whip: Majority Party||R1 346 232|
|Chief Whip: Largest Minority Party||R1 346 232|
|Leader of a Minority Party||R1 346 232|
|Whip||R1 249 236|
|Member: National Assembly||R1 137 933|
|Permanent Delegate: NCOP||R1 137 933|