President Jacob Zuma is considering a 5.5% increase for public office bearers recommended by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers, the commission's chairperson Judge Willie Seriti said on Thursday, 26 July 2012.
Judge Seriti could not say when Zuma would make his determination for the remuneration of public office bearers for the 2012/13 financial year - but pointed out that this usually takes place two to three months following the commission's presentation to the President - which in this case was conducted in June.
The President is not under any obligation to follow the commission's recommendation.
While last year he opted to follow the commission's recommendation of a then 5% pay rise, in 2010 and 2009 he opted for pay rises that were lower than those recommended by the commission - namely 5% in 2010 over the recommended 7% and 7% over the recommended 8% in 2009.
In calculating a recommended annual pay rise, the commission looked at a number of factors.
These include the Consumer Price Index (CPI), market salary increase of the past year and the forecast salary increase for the year ahead, economic conditions, as well as input from relevant stakeholders and past recommendations and the President's past determinations.In step with Gordhan's guidelines
This year's recommended pay rise is in step with the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan's recommendation in his Budget Speech, presented in February, of a 5.5% public sector wage rise to restrain the country's bulging public-sector wage bill and Judge Seriti said Gordhan had welcomed the commission's recommended pay rise.
However, Judge Seriti said various public office bearers, whom the commission had consulted, are unhappy with the 5.5% rise.
He declined to name who these were, but they include magistrates who have taken the commission and the President to court, challenging the right by the President to determine pay rises for public officials and the role of the commission in making salary recommendations.
Under the new increases, the President's remuneration (less travel allowance and benefits) will move from R2.49m to R2.62m, while that of the Deputy President will increase from R2.24m to R2.36m.
The salary of a Minister increases to R2m (up from R1.9m) and that of a Deputy Minister to R1.65m (up from R1.57m).
Members of Parliament (MPs) will see their salaries rise to R889 383 (up from R843 017), the Speaker of Parliament will now take home R2.36m (up from R2.24m), the leader of the opposition R1.3m and the chief whip of the majority party R1.3m (up from R1.23m).
Premiers will take home R1.89m (up from R1.79m), executive mayors and mayors R1.05m (up from R991 115) and municipal councillors R401 866 (up from R380 916).Increases for judicial offers, traditional leaders
The Chief Justice's salary rises to R2.24m to R2.36m, while those for high court and labour court judges rises to R1.53m, from R1.46m and those for magistrates from R671 219 to R708 136.
For traditional leaders, a king will now take home R978 321 (up from R927 319) and senior traditional leaders R179 451 (R170 096).
Judge Seriti said the commission intends investigating the pay level of the councillors, and is waiting for funds to bring on board a service provider to investigate that will undertake such a review.
Under its recommended 5.5% pay rise, municipal councillors will take home R401 866 - up from R380 916.
He said the commission is concerned that many local councillors do not have insurance policies that protect them against property damage.
The commission is also waiting for additional budget to conduct a proper investigation into whether to adopt performance-based remuneration.
Judge Seriti said the commission had conducted study trip and pointed out that the commission had some reservations on a performance-based system, but that it needed to conduct a proper investigation before reaching a position on this.