How much South Africa’s millionaire municipal managers get paid

The amounts that some of South Africa’s millionaire municipal managers earned in the 2014/15 financial year have been revealed in a parliamentary reply.

Salaries range from a modest R598 031 per year by the Mutale municipal manager, to the eye-watering R3 076 954 million a year for Tshwane’s municipal manager, according to the thick document detailing pay and perks for that year.

The information was contained in a reply on Tuesday to a question on the salaries of municipal officials. The DA submitted it to the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).

Out of line with performance

Comment was not immediately available from Cogta. DA MP Kevin Mileham said the party’s MPs had been trying for some time to get the breakdown.

The party believed that in many instances, the salaries were out of line with the managers’ performance.

Many had not met minimum competencies and should not be in their position, he said.

He cited the legal dispute over the smart meter programme in Tshwane which the metro was advised against, but went ahead with anyway.

“There is a lack of accountability in local government and the department and minister are not taking these things seriously,” said Mileham.

Asked whether the R2.2m salary for the municipal manager in the DA-run City of Cape Town was justified given the housing and sanitation problems, Mileham said there was no denying the city had problems.

“Make no bones about it. But it is still the best-run municipality,” he said.

It had received awards, had a good credit rating, and a stable rates base.

A competent person was needed to run it, and the salary had to be market-related.


The SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu) was dismayed by the high salaries. It repeated earlier concerns that the amounts were out of proportion to the salaries of ordinary municipal employees.

“It is disgusting,” said Samwu spokesperson Papikie Mohale.

Samwu was campaigning for their salaries to be cut so municipalities could spend more money on services and increase general workers’ salaries. The money could go towards boosting staff numbers.

“We believe they are overly and unnecessarily inflated to the point that the money that they get cannot be justified in any way,” said Mohale.

In Mohale’s view there was no correlation between good remuneration, and good service delivery. He reiterated a call for a review of the determination of upper salary limits.

On the other end of the scale, Extended Public Works Programme workers earned between R50 to R70 a day. The sectoral determination for ordinary municipal workers was R6 700 a month.

“The money should be spent on more staff and infrastructure,” said Mohale.

Here are some of the salaries for municipal managers countrywide for that year.

  • Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality: R2.4m
  • Westonaria Local Municipality: R1.2m
  • Midvaal Local Municipality: R1.5m
  • Hibiscus Coast Local Municipality: R1.032m
  • Richmond Local Municipality: R930 815
  • Okhahlamba Local Municipality: R750 864
  • Ulundi Local Municipality: R1.029m
  • Nkandla Local Municipality: R820 000
  • KwaDukuza: R1.3m
  • Polokwane Local Municipality: R1.038m
  • Mogale City Local Municipality: R1.823m
  • Mutale Local Municipality: R598 031
  • Kannaland: R1.147m
  • Randfontein: R1.452m
  • Ethekwini Metropolitan Municipality: R2.426m
  • City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality: R2.295m
  • Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality: R2.805m
  • City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality: R2.690m
  • Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality: R1.909m
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality: R2m allocated, although the post was vacant for that period.


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How much South Africa’s millionaire municipal managers get paid