Here’s how much mayors and other top municipal workers earn in South Africa

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has announced a wage freeze for top municipal workers in South Africa.

In a government gazette published on Tuesday (2 November), Dlamini-Zuma said that, after consultations with the relevant authorities, it was decided that a 0% cost of living adjustment would be made for the different members of municipal councils for the 202o/2021 financial year.

This means that the latest wages, last updated in April 2020, will remain in effect.

It is estimated that there are more than 9,000 councillors in South Africa’s 278 municipalities. However, the data below specifically pertains to top earners such as mayors, deputy mayor, speakers, mayoral committee members, executives of sub councils, and whips.

Under the current system, municipal workers are paid based on a point system that factors into its municipal income and the population that falls under the municipality.

The sum of the number of points allocated to a municipal council in terms of the above table determines the grade of such municipal council as follows:

This table is then used to determine the pay of mayors and other top municipal workers including the deputy mayor, speakers, mayoral committee members, executives of sub-councils, and whips.

At the country’s largest and most populous municipalities, executive mayors can earn as much as R1.4 million a year, while their deputies can earn R1.1 million. In the country’s smaller municipalities this figure drops to R782,000 for executive mayors, and R632,025 for their deputies. 

Other benefits 

In addition to their annual wages, top municipal workers in South Africa can expect a number of other benefits including:

  • Motor vehicle and travel allowance  – A councillor who uses a privately-owned vehicle for the execution of official duties on behalf of the municipality, may be reimbursed for official kilometres travelled, in addition to the total remuneration package of a councillor.
  • Out of pocket expenses – A councillor may, in addition to the total remuneration package, be reimbursed for reasonable and actual out of pocket expenses incurred during the execution of official or ceremonial duties, in accordance with the applicable municipal council policy.
  • Upper limits of cell phone allowance for councillors – A councillor may be paid a cell phone allowance not exceeding R3,400 per month in accordance with the applicable municipal council policy.
  • Data bundles –  A councillor may be paid an allowance on the use of data bundles not exceeding R300 per month.
  • Special risk cover – A municipality must take out risk insurance cover, to provide for an insurance cover, provided to a councillor by the municipality, which covers the loss of or damage to a councillor’s personal immovable or moveable property and assets, excluding property used by such councillor for business purposes, as well as life and disability cover, for any loss or damage caused by riot, civil unrest, strike or public disorder. The special risk insurance on residential property will be limited to R1.5 million while on vehicles it is limited to R750,000. The life and disability insurance cover is limited to two times the total remuneration package of a councillor.

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Here’s how much mayors and other top municipal workers earn in South Africa