President Jacob Zuma presides over one of the most bloated Cabinets in the world with 35 ministers and 37 deputy ministers, fostering a “fertile ground for very costly ANC-style cadre deployment extravagance”.
This is according to Sej Motau, DA Shadow Minister in the Presidency, who said: “The negative consequences of this ill-considered massive executive structure are there for all to see: an astronomical public service wage bill that grows every year.”
Given the latest 7% wage increase, the price-tag is set to swell to around R500 billion a year for approximately 1.3 million public servants – R384,615 per employee, the DA said.
“There is very little to show for this huge expenditure as productivity continues to deteriorate resulting in ever-increasing service delivery protests from angry, frustrated communities around the country,” Motau said.
The party also pointed to a ‘whopping’ R94.4 million allocation for travel and subsistence for the President and the Deputy President for the financial year, an amount which is “very hard to justify”.
The DA believes that the President can abolish a third of the Ministries and save the country billions.
Motau said that the allowance for Jacob Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa will increase to R110.4 million in 2015/16 and to R118.3 million in 2016/17.
The President is also among the highest paid presidents and prime ministers in the world with a salary package of just over R3 million a year.
The budget, announced on Tuesday (26 May) provides R3.1 million for the salary of the President and R2.6 million for the salary of the Deputy President for this financial year.
These amounts are set to rise to R3.3 million and R2.8 million in 2016/17 and to R3.4 million and R2.9 million in 2017/18, respectively.
“In a country with more than 8 million unemployed people and millions of citizens and foreign nationals who reportedly go to bed hungry every night, people would expect the President to be more than sensitive about how budgets allocated to this Vote are employed,” Motau said.
“The President seems to have convinced himself that it is OK for the state to spend R250 million on his private home as if National Treasury is a bottomless pit of money; a fat piggy bank for his personal use,” he said.