Parliament's R1m+ salary 'disgustingly' too little, says ex-EFF MP Godrich Gardee
Johannesburg - Outgoing EFF MP and former party secretary Gordrich Gardee has caused a stir on social media after claiming MPs did not earn as well as people thought.
Gardee, who this week resigned as an MP, will be joining Eric Mabuza’s legal firm where he is set to complete his articles after obtaining a law degree recently.
Gardee had protested that MPs earn a lot when Sunday Times journalist Andisiwe Makinana tweeted that MPs paid Parliament just under R400 to rent a furnished three bedroom villa in Cape Town.
“The hullabaloo about the salaries of MPs is misplaced… MPs cannot even afford own kids in universities and their children cannot be considered for NSFAS hence #Bosasa paid for their kids....That salary in @ParliamentofRSA is the most disgusting whilst working far away from home,” said Gardee.
Gardee on Tuesday dared to release his salary payslip, but as of Wednesday afternoon - he had not done so.
As former EFF party whip, Gardee would have earned R1.24m per annum after 2.8% increases were approved by President Cyril Ramaphosa for MPs earning below R1.5m in February.
His party boss Julius Malema, as a leader of a minority party, earns R1.34m per year, while ordinary MPs earn R1.13m per year.
The biggest salaries in Parliament are reserved for the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, and the chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, who both pocket R2.82m per year - the same salary as Deputy President David Mabuza, and about R400 000 more than a cabinet minister’s salary.
Parliaments committee chairpersons pocket R1.49m per year, as do chief whips from the majority party, in this case, the ANC.
AfricaCheck reported last year that MPs received benefits, which included:
- 88 single journeys a year (by air, train, bus or car)
- Daily commuting Travel to and from airports
- Parking at airports
- Travel for their dependants
- Tools of trade, including a cellphone, tablet and laptop
- Equipment and furniture for their offices
- Personal accident insurance
- Accommodation in parliamentary villages (three complexes in Cape Town that house MPs when parliament is in session)
- Transport from the villages to parliament
The UDM’s Nqabayomzi Nkwankwa has complained about MPs not being afforded personal assistants.
He said on Tuesday: “Comrade @GardeeGodrich Some people are just utterly uninformed about what we do and how our remuneration package is structured. When you try to set the record straight, some elect to pelt you with a stream of expletives. @ParliamentofRSA has to address this information gap”.
But this did not go down well with the viewing public, who said MPs should be grateful for the salaries they earned. Later on Wednesday, a leaked DA MP’s salary slip showed they earned a net income of R48 900 per month.
Comrade @GardeeGodrich Some people are just utterly uninformed about what we do and how our remuneration package is structured. When you try to set the record straight, some elect to pelt you with a stream of expletives. @ParliamentofRSA has to address this information gap. https://t.co/a5l3edmhnV— Nqabayomzi Kwankwa (@N_Kwankwa) March 10, 2020
Hayi please you've never set the record straight. I asked you to enlighten us. You ducked. I'm still saying, show us this breakdown that's making it so hard for you to have a decent living out of a R1 million plus annual package. In a country where majority live in poverty— BabesWePetitions (@Neli_Ngqulana) March 10, 2020
Surely, you can't be complaining about your remuneration structure/quantity as a public representative, when the people you serve and represent earn significantly (an understatement) less?— Mabine Seabe II (@Mabine_Seabe) March 10, 2020
Have you become so out of touch that you choose to raise this here and now? https://t.co/H031VU1bTS
Yes, MPs elsewhere earn more with even better benefits but look at where (socio-economically) you are and the path you have chose; is this really the issue is befitting to raise?— Mabine Seabe II (@Mabine_Seabe) March 10, 2020
If a nice salary is the fight you want to engage in, join the private sector.
Firstly, you shouldn’t treat being an MP a like a regular employment. You a choice to serve the country. Of course, MPs should be paid and they should provide for their families. But it’s NB to understand Parliament is not your employer, South Africans are @GardeeGodrich https://t.co/HrZPzbcZOb— Nomboniso Gasa (@nombonisogasa) March 10, 2020
If MPs cannot afford to take their children to universities, sisenkingeni.— Khaya Sithole (@CoruscaKhaya) March 10, 2020
The levels of entitilement scares me complaining about even taking a bus that is comfortable and hired exclusively for their services. Is there an expectation that states also give blue lights to mps?— Nomfundo Mcetywa (@MaMcetywa) March 10, 2020
When u can afford designer clothing and expensive liquor but u can't afford to take care of your offspring. LOL— Unathi Kwaza (@Unathi_Kwaza) March 10, 2020
Am I living in a parallel universe to you? I will earn in 5 years what you earn in a year so do tell me about your money troubles please.— 🇿🇦Stephan Smith🇿🇦 (@Stephan19847) March 10, 2020