The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) does not welcome the President’s decision to increases the salaries of the public office bearers by 3% amid a concerted effort to contain the salaries of public servants below inflation. 

The 3% increases for public office bearers from municipalities, parliament, national executive, and the provincial executives was approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

SAFTU does not welcome this increase based on three factors: 1) the public office bearers already earn obscene salaries, 2) public servants are offered another a below inflation increase, at 3,3 percent increase for 2023/24, and that, 3) in the context of the damage (inflicted through mismanagement, incompetence and corruption) they have caused (and are still causing) to our country, these public office bearers do not deserve any increase. 

The public office bearers are not affected by inflation in the same manner as it affects all ordinary workers in the economy. They receive benefits such as car allowances, free residence, free flights and free security amongst others. The increase on their salaries is quite unjustifiable, especially when Treasury is targeting the compensation bill for public service workers as a site of fiscal consolidation. Public service compensation bill is being trimmed to accommodate the austerity measures that are proposed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to wrestle what they call fiscal risks. This trimming has affected the capacity of public service departments to increase the headcount, and the current employees to get below inflation increases. 

Ministers and MECs for instance, already earn incomes that far outstrips the cost of basic needs of life. Unlike public servants whose salaries are spent on trying to cover basic costs of living, public office bearers with such high salaries live in luxury, and strive to afford class and glamour, not the basic necessities of life. 

SAFTU reiterates that it is the salaries of public servants that needs to be increased, not those of public office bearers. 

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