Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni walks to Parliament ahead of his MTBPS. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

CAPE TOWN – The Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced on Wednesday that for the foreseeable future the cabinet, premiers and MECs’ salaries would be frozen at current levels, with the likelihood of an adjustment downwards.

The minister’s announcement was received with a warm applause after which he announced further cost-cutting measures, emphasising that board and executive management compensation and benefits should be reduced. 

“The President has agreed to guidelines which will apply to members of the Cabinet and members of provincial executives: 

  1. For the foreseeable future, Cabinet, Premiers and MECs’ salaries will be frozen at current levels, with the likelihood of an adjustment downwards 
  2. The cost of official cars will be capped at R700 000 VAT inclusive
  3. A new cellphone dispensation will cap the amount claimable from the state
  4. All domestic travel will be on economy class tickets
  5. There will no longer be payment for subsistence and travel for both domestic and international trips

“We look forward to robust discussions in the relevant bargaining structures and with other stakeholders to achieve a sustainable arrangement. We are all in this together,” said Mboweni.

Mboweni also urged the leadership in Parliament to think about how they could further contain their compensation and benefits.

“In the 2019 Budget, some measures were announced. 

These included: 

  1. Early retirement without penalisation 
  2. The national macro reorganisation of government 
  3. Reducing performance bonuses   
  4. Freezing of salaries for members of the executive and parliamentarians amongst others 

“Unfortunately, these have not realised as much savings as we hoped. Early retirement savings are coming through slower than we originally thought. We will reinvigorate the early retirement programme,” said Mboweni.