- South Africa spends 14% of its GDP on public servants which is 35% of the country's budget
- This is worrying because public servants are paid with tax money
- South Africa spends far more on its public servants than other countries with much larger populations
Public servants are vital to the economy and running of a country, without them there state would grind to a halt. But how much do they earn?
Before we go any farther, what is a public servant anyway? They are anyone who works for the state and is paid with taxpayers money. This includes teachers, police staff, local government officials and correctional service employees as an example.
The average annual salary of a public servant is R338,000, this works out to R28,000 per month. That is R9,000 higher than the average non-agricultural worker.
Public servants earn on average 47% more than workers employed elsewhere but where does the money come from to pay them, this raises some difficult questions.
35% of South Africa's R1.67 trillion budget goes to paying the salaries of public servants, this comes up to the hefty figure of R584 billion.
That is a worrying 14% of the country's GDP, internationally this should only be around 11% of the GDP.
How many public servants do the state employ?
In South Africa, there are an estimated 2.7 million public sector workers and as a percentage of the population, they earn disproportionately more.
SA spends more than on public servants than countries such as Brazil, Russia or Turkey which have far larger population.
"South Africa has a lot of rich people but who are the richest of them all?" Check out this video on -
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