The government spent R329 billion on salaries in the past financial year, paying 1.4 million civil servants. While much of the money was spent on teachers, nurses, and doctors, at least 306 deputy-directors general and 41 directors-general took home R1 million and above salaries.
According to a report in the Sunday Times. a deputy director-general’s salary starts at R1.2 million, while a director-general can earn up to R1.7 million.
Figures provided to the newspaper by the Department of Public Service and Administration showed the Department of Justice alone had three directors-general. The police department had the equivalent of 26 deputy directors-general.
There are also 1,233 chief directors on the state’s salary bill, who earn between R980,000 and R1.1 million.
“The state’s salary bill is projected to balloon to R437 billion this year amid demands by public sector unions for a 10% salary adjustment,” said the Sunday Times.
This would put the government “in the red to the tune of R157.4 billion”.
Chief economist at the Efficient Group Dawie Roodt said public servants were “overpaid and under-worked”.
“Compared to what the rest of the economy earns and what they produce, I think they are getting too much,” he said.
The reported salary figures exclude 78 chief directors, 27 deputy directors-general, and eight directors-general who had resigned or whose contracts had expired by August last year.
The newspaper added that most public servants earn more than R15,000 per month, while almost 140,000 earn R20,000 monthly.
The full report is available in the Sunday Times of 3 May 2015.