Zuma’s salary vs other world leaders

 ·1 Feb 2015
Jacob Zuma

The Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers has made its recommendation on public sector salaries.

The group suggests public office bearers earning more than R1 million will receive a 5% increase, and officer bearers earning less than R1 million will receive 6% from April 1, 2014.

This will boost President Jacob Zuma’s salary up to R2.75 million (excluding benefits) from R2.62 million in 2014 – keeping him among the highest paid politicians in the world.

According to Trading Economics, the average wage in the country is around R14,900 per month, making Zuma’s salary over 15 times greater than the average South African’s annual gross and 110 times greater than minimum wage rates.

Zuma’s salary is far smaller than some of his global counterparts, however.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is widely known to command the highest salary of any politician in the world.

After taking a pay ‘cut’ in recent years, the Singaporean leader still commands a salary of R20.8 million.

The only other leader to come close is Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, who backtracked on his promise to freeze government salaries and hiked his pay to R6.7 million.

Below are some of the highest paid world leaders. Notably, a lot of European countries – such as Ireland, Luxembourg, Italy etc – pay their presidents in a similar range to Germany’s head, Angela Merkel in the R3 million range.

The Financial Times pegs Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s real salary at close to R20 million however,  “official” figures from the country puts it at closer to R1.1 million.

World leader salaries

Leader Country Salary
Lee Hsien Loong Singapore R20.8 million
Leung Chun-ying Hong Kong R6.7 million
Barack Obama United States R5.8 million
Tony Abbott Australia R4.5 million
Angela Merkel Germany R3.4 million
Stephen Harper Canada R3.4 million
Shinzo Abe Japan R3.2 million
Jacob Zuma South Africa R2.7 million
Francois Hollande France R2.7 million
David Cameron UK R2.5 million

Note: excludes benefits

South Africa’s president is not the only government official to see his pay jump in 2015.

The remuneration commission also recommended increases for Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Speaker of National Parliament, Baleka Mbete, and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

The infographic below details the increases for government officials for 2015.

Government Salaries

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