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News Room

Why Being An SA Politician Is One Of The Most Lucrative Jobs In The World

Compare Guru
2015-07-23
Despite high levels of unemployment and crime, and overall poor performance by the ruling political party, South African politicians are among some of the highest paid in the world. In fact, one of the most lucrative job positions in the world is being a South African politician. Read below and find out what some of South Africa’s top earning politicians make.
Throughout his term as president, Jacob Zuma has almost consistently signed off on pay hikes for ministers and cabinet members on a yearly basis. In 2014 the city of Johannesburg’s politicians received a total R122 million worth of salary increases, on top of the many benefits already enjoyed by South African politicians. To put this into greater societal perspective the average salary for those South Africans, lucky enough to even have a job, stands at R2800 per month. This is R500 less than the average city-councillors cellphone allowance.

To go into further details regarding the perks of a South African politician; they are entitled to vehicle expenses, travel, accommodation and ‘other expenses’. Members of parliament receive an annual vehicle allowance to be used for private and official vehicles. This costs the taxpayer over R36 million a year.

Our head of state, Jacob Zuma, is one of the top earning politicians in the world, annually earning more than the British prime minister David Cameron and French president Francois Hollande. Aside from their exorbitant salaries, the perks enjoyed by South African politicians would often be outside of their price range, but end up being footed by the taxpayer. The upgrades to the president’s Nkandla homestead exceed his salary by more than 9000%.

While it is difficult to determine the exact amounts that individual politicians make ANC's opposition party, The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), claimed to have calculated that the 35 ministers and 37 deputy ministers currently in parliament will cost the taxpayers an overall R720 million a year.

Some of the estimated earnings for the 2014/15 year, after increases, include deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa making an annual R2.6 million, while other cabinet ministers received a 5% increase to an annual R2.2 million. The Speaker of National Parliament, Baleka Mbete, will be earning R2.6 million. The president himself will also be receiving a 5% salary increase, bringing his annual salary to R2.7 million.

The increases have been met with disapproval from opposition parties and the general public who have criticised the lack of transparency and participation when determining the salaries of those in office.

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