DURBAN - The amount of money that the government spends on public wages will be one of the biggest topics that newly appointed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will touch on during his maiden Mid-Term Budget Policy Speech according to BusinessTech.
The new finance minister was recently quoted as saying that R8 of every R10 spent is used to pay civil servants.
South African Federation of Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi described Mboweni's statement as absolute nonsense.
Africa Check, a fact-checking website, analysed the budget data to look at how much money the government spends on salaries for civil servants.
According to the website, the 2018 budget for South Africa shows that employees salaries comprised of 35.2% of the government's combined spending in 2017/2018. This translates to R3.52 per R10.
Salaries based on revenue
The government's wage bill is already high in contrast to other developing countries and according to Africa Check, the amount increases even more when looking at employee compensation as a part of government revenue.
In a 2018 journal article, the Fiscal Cliff Study Group said that they were worried that South Africa was moving towards a fiscal cliff due to a drop in revenue and increasing expenditure.
Fiscal Cliff Study Group calculated that employees salaries made up 46% of government revenue in 2018. That is R4.60 per R10.
Pay for South African civil servants
According to an article by The South African the average pay for public servants is R338000 annually which is R28000 per month.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures show that 35% of the country's R1,67 trillion budget goes to paying civil servants salaries.
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