President Jacob Zuma’s salary increase has been approved, even after opposition parties fought against it, EWN reports.
In January, the Independent Commission on the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers recommended a 5% increase for all office bearers, including the president, deputy president, ministers, deputy ministers and members of parliament, and came before the National Assembly on Thursday for approval.
With the 5% increase, Zuma’s salary will increase by about R130 000, meaning that he would earn just over R2.7 million per year.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane took a strong stance against the increase, saying that he didn’t believe the president should get an increase, and that he should be held accountable for the poor economic growth and him benefiting from Nkandla. Netwerk24 reported that Maimane said that Zuma already received a 100 year advance with the R246m for Nkandla.
The EFF’s Chief Whip Floyd Shivambu also chimed in and said that the country already feeds him, dresses him, pays for his legal fees and even built him a cattle kraal and chicken run.
The FF Plus called for the president’s salary to be reduced to R1.
The ANC’s majority held sway in the vote, meaning that Zuma’s salary would be increased to just over R2.7m, backdated to April 1.
Cope’s Willie Madisha pointed out that last year, Zuma said he didn’t want an increase, but later came back to say “that someone else had given him one. Some refuse to admit that the majority of the country’s people are suffering,” he added.
Madisha told Parliament that every month, R50m went to what he called Zuma’s “massive household”, claiming that, among other things, his wives get R2 800 in airtime and R3000 spending money.
“In 2013, when the President refused to accept any increase, the MPs of opposition parties who today [Thursday] indulged in melodramatic posturing in opposition against the President’s recommended increase, were happy to pocket the increase instead of following his lead,” Stone Sizani, chief whip of the ANC, said in a statement.
“Further, the parties opposing the President’s recommended 5% increase have themselves accepted it for the same financial year. The cheap opportunism and rank hypocrisy of these parties is shameful,” he said.