- Some might find a little comfort in knowing that South Africa's politicians were also dealt some disappointment during Tito Mboweni's Budget Statement
- The Finance Minister has declared a salary freeze for the governments biggest earners, slashing luxury benefits in the process
- Approximately R585 billion will be spent on civil servant salaries during this year alone
From tax increases to troubled state-owned entities, Wednesday's mid-term budget speech was a depressing affair for Mzansi.
With good news in short supply, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni confirmed that the country's politicians will also be forced to adjust to harder economic times, reports The South African.
Mboweni detailed how cabinet ministers, official premiers and provincial MECs will be stripped of luxuries, commenting:
“The president has agreed to these money-saving guidelines, which will apply to members of the Cabinet and members of provincial executives. I encourage the leadership in Parliament to think about how they can further contain their compensation and benefits. We are all in this together.”
According to the DA's financial spokesperson Geordin Hill-Lewis, the state spends 35% of public expenditure on salaries, with the figure for this year alone amounting to R585 billion.
In light of this, Mboweni detailed the following measures aimed at reducing the bloated bill:
- Until further notice, all cabinet members, premiers and MECs will receive no further increases, with some MPs facing a wage reduction
- Official vehicle allowance capped at R700 000, down from the previous R1 million
- Limit will be implemented for cellphones covered by the state
- Flight allowances will no longer cover business class flights
Briefly.co.za reported that Mboweni had revealed Treasury was looking to increase taxes imposed on citizens.
With the likes of Eskom, the SABC and the SAA requiring billions in bailouts, the government is desperately attempting to close the gap in revenue.
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