We've all read the headlines about our president's R256 Million home in Nkandla, his R2 Million a month private jet rental and Van Rooyen's R500 000 hotel bill. With members of parliament living such lavish lifestyles at the expense of us taxpayers, we've been dying to know exactly how much they earn, and we're sure you're just as curious.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how much MPs officially earn, let’s first take a look what MPs are paid to do. First and foremost, MPs have the responsibility to represent the public in parliament. This involves discussing the country's toughest issues in joint discussions with various committees and making new laws based on the ideas and solutions that are thought of during those discussions to help solve these issues. They are also responsible for providing parliament with regular complete reports concerning the matters under their control.
An MP is either a member of the National Assembly or the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). The NCOP's sole mandate is to ensure that the interests of each province are taken into account in the decisions and workings of the National Assembly. As previously mentioned, this involves formulating numerous reports and reporting findings in meetings with plenary groups (all members of a particular house. The National Assembly or NCOP), various committees and joint sittings of the National Assembly and the NCOP.
In the 2014/2015 financial year, 126 plenary meetings were held, The National assembly passed 290 house resolutions, 12 new bills were passed in parliament and 963 committee meetings were held. You'll have a pretty busy schedule if you plan on becoming an MP.
Now let's get into the nitty gritty. The highest paid MPs are the speaker of the National Assembly (Baleka Mbete) and the chairman of the NCOP (Thandi Modise). Both are avid ANC members. According to the government gazette, both earn a whopping R2,716,798.00 a year, as of the 1st of April 2015. If you do the math, it works out to R226,400.00 a month, which is the same salary as the Deputy President.
Cabinet ministers are next on the highest paid list. They earn R2.3 Million a year, or R192,439.00 a month. Deputy ministers and deputy speakers of the national assembly earn R1,9 Million a year which works out to R158,477.00 a month. The House Chairman (Cedrick Frolick) is next on the list with a massive annual salary of R1.7 Million.
The chief whip of the ANC, the chief whip of the NCOP, and the parliamentary council president and deputy president all earn R1,4 Million a year or R124,516.00 a month. The leader of the official opposition, Mmusi Maimane also falls into this group. Leaders of smaller parties such as the EFF and UDM earn R1,222,606.00 a year or R101,885.00 a month. MPs receive annual increases of around 5-6% annually.
The lowest salary paid to an MP in the National Assembly or NCOP is R1,033,434.00 a year, which works out to R86,120.00 a month and that doesn't even account for the perks of being an MP. According to a report on the People's Assembly information website, MPs are entitled to 86 single economy class flights, free accommodation in Parliamentary villages, free Airport parking, reimbursed allowances for expenses between airports and home, travel facilities for dependents, a fully equipped office and a communications and technology allowance every year.
Although becoming an MP is a good way to become a millionaire, winning our massive payouts of up to R500 Million could be much quicker and much more rewarding.