Salary increases of public office bearers met with criticism

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed off salary increases for public office bearers. Picture: SA Presidency

President Cyril Ramaphosa signed off salary increases for public office bearers. Picture: SA Presidency

Published Jul 3, 2023


Durban — President Cyril Ramaphosa’s determination to increase the salaries of all public office bearers by 3% has been met with criticism from trade unions.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) said it was flabbergasted by this.

The salary increase would be backdated to April 2022.

Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the determination followed recommendations by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers on the annual salary for all public office bearers, submitted to the president on April 17.

Public office bearers include the president, deputy president, ministers and deputy ministers, members of parliament and the National Council of Provinces, as well as the leadership structures of the two houses, premiers and MECs, members of the provincial legislature and their leadership structures, mayors and councillors, judges and magistrates and traditional leaders.

“The commission recommended a 3.8% salary increment for all public office bearers, including members of the Independent Constitutional Institutions, judges, magistrates and traditional leaders for the financial year 2022/23. Having considered the commission’s recommendations and serious economic challenges facing the country, the president has decided that the salaries of all public office bearers be increased by 3%,” said Magwenya.

Ramaphosa has, in accordance with statutory requirements, submitted the notice to Parliament for approval, he said.

Nehawu spokesperson Lwazi Nkolozi said public servants were suffering miseries, pains and financial hardships amidst the escalating cost of living.

“There is absolutely no justification why public office bearers should be getting a remuneration increase. We are taken aback by this decision by Ramaphosa bearing in mind the claim that the government has no money. Yet the president has decided to be generous to public office bearers by giving them a remuneration increase while workers and ordinary citizens are on the receiving end,” said Nkolozi.

Nkolozi said this decision was taken when the government had been hellbent on undermining collective bargaining and reversing the gains of workers.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it noted with grave disappointment the decision by the president.

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