Salary hikes for government workers – kicking in next month

 ·20 Mar 2024

The Minister for Public Service and Administration, Noxolo Kiviet, has announced that non-senior management service (SMS) workers in government will see salaries hiked by 4.7% from 1 April 2024.

The wage hikes apply to non-SMS Members on levels 1-12 in the public service for the year 2024.

“Considering the current economic climate and the need for fiscal discipline, the government will implement a 4.7% salary increment for public servants in 2024. This decision aligns with the commitment to affordable and accessible public services while recognizing the hard work and dedication of public servants,” the minister said.

In determining the increase, Kiviet said that the government considered “various factors to strike a balance between meeting the needs of public servants and delivering efficient services”.

Kiviet urged all public servants to continue delivering high-quality services, emphasizing their essential role in the effective functioning of public institutions and meeting the needs of citizens.

“As the government progresses towards professionalizing the public service, it remains dedicated to supporting the professional development of public servants through investment in training and capacity-building initiatives,” the department said.

While the wage hike is currently below inflation – with February’s print almost a whole percentage point higher at 5.6% – it is in line with the average inflation expectation for the year, which economists peg between 4.5% and 4.7%.

Tabling the 2024/25 budget in February, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana set aside an additional R251.3 billion to fund the salaries of public servants this year.

The public sector went on strike for five months in 2023, demanding higher increases to wages, securing a 7.5% hike for the year ending March 2024.

The 2024/25 budget did not allocate additional money for wages outside of this agreement, with the minister stating that government departments will have to control their own payrolls to cover increases.

Salaries of public service workers are projected to increase to over R820 billion by 2027.

Read: The average salary increase you can expect in South Africa in 2024

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