How much money kings, traditional leaders, judges, ministers and premiers could get paid in 2019

The Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office-Bearers has made its recommendations for salary increases for public officials in 2019 – including a pay hike for president Cyril Ramaphosa and deputy president David Mabuza.

The commission has recommended that all public office bearers receive a 4% pay increase for the April 2018 – March 2019 period. The recommendations have been gazetted, but still need to be approved by the presidency.

The commission recommended a 0% increase for most government officials in 2017, due to the economic climate at the time.

And while South Africa’s economy continued to struggled through 2017, the commission recommended a small increase for officials in 2018. Ultimately, the presidency settled on an increase of 4.4%.

According to the remuneration commission, its recommendations are mainly based around inflation levels, and how that impacts the lives of public office bearers.

“Any consideration around the remuneration adjustments should take into account the effects of inflation to enable employees to maintain their lifestyle,” it said.

“There is a general expectation that higher inflation implies a higher remuneration adjustment. As a starting point, the basis for consideration of a salary increase and the particular cost of living adjustment, it would be done relative to headline inflation.”

Inflation is expected to remain in its targeted band (projected to average 4.8% in 2018), while average wage inflation in South Africa as whole is expected to be 7.4%.

“Since 2011, government has been forced to restrict employee headcount growth to accommodate rising salaries,” it said.

“After considering all of the above, the commission is recommending a 4% annual adjustment to the remuneration of all categories of Public Office Bearers.”

Rising government wage bill

President Cyril Ramaphosa is in a difficult position, with his promise of reining in government spending to help resuscitate a struggling economy.

However, the biggest chunk of South Africa’s expenses goes straight to state salaries and wages.

Stats SA recently broke down government’s expenses for the 2016/17 financial year, showing that compensation for employees took up 42% (R602 billion) of the R1.5 trillion spent by the state.

The country’s public service wage bill already suffered a sizeable blow in 2018, with public servant unions successfully negotiating 6% to 7% increases for 2019 and beyond – while reported plans to retrench some 30,000 government workers was hastily scuppered following backlash.

Trade federation Cosatu has already dismissed the commission’s recommended 4% hike for 2019, telling the president to scrap the notion of increases altogether this year.

The recommendations now sit with the president, who will have a final say on what adjustment, if any, will be put into effect. Parliament will have the final say on the president’s salary increase.

Here is what the commission recommends public office bearers get paid next year (April 2018 – March 2019):

President, Deputy president, Ministers and Deputy Ministers

Position Total remuneration
President R3 109 439
Deputy President R2 938 488
Minister R2 497 698
Deputy Minister R2 056 907

Members of the National Assembly and Delegates to the National Council of Provinces

Position Total remuneration
Speaker: National Assembly R2 938 488
Chairperson: NCOP R2 938 488
Deputy Speaker: National Assembly R2 056 907
Deputy Chairperson: NCOP R2 056 907
House Chairperson R1 910 035
Chief Whip: Majority Party R1 623 888
Chief Whip: NCOP R1 623 888
Parliamentary Council: President R1 623 888
Parliamentary Council: Deputy President R1 623 888
Leader of Opposition R1 623 888
Chairperson of a Committee R1 476 308
Deputy Chief Whip: Majority Party R1 328 728
Chief Whip: Largest Minority Party R1 328 728
Leader of a Minority Party R1 328 728
Whip R1 232 993
Member: National Assembly R1 123 140
Permanent Delegate: NCOP R1 123 140

Premiers, Executive Councils and Provincial Legislatures

Position Total remuneration
Premier R2 350 824
Member of Executive Council R2 056 907
Speaker R2 056 907
Deputy Speaker R1 623 888
Chief Whip: Majority Party R1 476 308
Chairperson of Committees R1 328 730
Leader of Opposition R1 328 730
Chairperson of a Committee R1 328 730
Deputy Chairperson of Committees R1 250 101
Deputy Chief Whip: Majority Party R1 250 101
Chief Whip: Largest Minority Party R1 250 101
Leader of a Minority Party R1 250 101
Parliamentary Counsellor to a King/Queen R1 123 140
Whip R1 123 140
Member of Provincial Legislature R1 087 028


Position Total remuneration
Special Grade Chief Magistrate R1 436 913
Regional Court President R1 436 913
Regional Magistrate R1 289 294
Chief Magistrate R1 289 294
Senior Magistrate R1 068 699
Magistrate R971 648


Position Total remuneration
Chief Justice R2 938 488
Deputy Chief Justice R2 644 571
Judge: Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal R2 350 825
Judge: High Court, Labour Court R1 910 035
King/Queen R1 223 799
Senior Traditional Leaders R256 820

Government Gazette for The Presidency by BusinessTech on Scribd

Read: What nurses, teachers and lawyers earn right now – and how much more government is offering

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How much money kings, traditional leaders, judges, ministers and premiers could get paid in 2019