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National budget mainly spent on salaries

Johannesburg - The government has misled South Africans about how much of the national budget is spent on the salaries of civil servants, Prophet Analytics claimed on Wednesday.

“The government is wrong when it states that only 35 percent of the annual budget is spent on wages. The true figure is 88

percent...,” analyst Peter Aling said in a statement.

The government had also misled analysts by appearing to agree to 5.4 percent wage increases for civil servants, he said.

This was according to Prophet Analytics' fourth quarter 2012

Labour Market Navigator Report.

The report indicated an increase in the salaries earned by black civil servants and the proportion of black government employees.

In the past 10 years, the percentage of black civil servants had increased from 42 to 74, and nearly 40 percent of South Africa's highest-earning blacks were now government employees.

Aling attributed sharp rises in black civil servants' salaries to “managerial bloat”, claiming the government used promotion and job re-grading to increase their incomes.

“This results in the average remuneration for public sector workers now (being) 32 percent higher than that of private sector workers.”

If historical rates of progression were maintained, 5.1 million black people would be earning more than the average white person in private business by 2020, he said.

Racial income disparities were steadily, if slowly, closing.

“This is apparent from current census results showing that black incomes grew 10.4 percent per annum between the censuses, compared to the 6.5 percent growth in white incomes,” Aling said.

Measures to speed up this process included improving the education system and reviewing labour laws, he said.

The National Treasury could not immediately be reached for comment. - Sapa

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