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President Jacob Zuma will earn R2 874 851 a year when his salary increase kicks in on April 1.

The salary increase was approved in the National Assembly on Thursday, despite fierce objections from some opposition parties.

172 MPs voted in favour of the increase, while 81 voted against, and two abstentions were recorded.

The Independent Commission on the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers recommended a 5% salary increase for Zuma in November.

“The increase would be for the 2015/16 financial year for the president and all other public office bearers.”

This would boost Zuma’s salary by over R100 000, from R2.75m to over R2.8m.

A last minute bid by the DA and the EFF to block the increase did not succeed.

The DA rose to ask that the increase proposal be amended to say that in the light of Zuma’s “reckless actions” at the end of last year in changing the minister of finance twice, his salary should remain unchanged.

The EFF tried to propose an amendment that his salary be suspended indefinitely “since he has admitted that he duly benefited from the Nkandla upgrade and he now wants to pay back the money, so he does not deserve any salary increment adjustments”.

The proposed amendments were put to a vote and rejected.

Some opposition parties rose to make declarations, with Cope saying Zuma did not deserve it. But the IFP, NFP, UDM and Agang said everybody else was very happy to get their increase, so Zuma should get one too.

DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said Zuma had driven over South Africa with a bus during the Nkandla controversy and “does not deserve a cent”.

The ANC’s acting chief whip, Doris Dlakude, said that everybody got the increase, “including [DA MP] Dianne Kohler Barnard”, so Zuma should too.

“The president will receive his salary increase whether you like it or not… live with it.” 

The country is in a gripping drought, with escalating prices in an economic downward spiral. The rich get richer & the poor get poorer.

But there are always South Africans who rise to challenges.

“Zuma & all public officials in parliament just voted to give themselves another salary increase. When will our government realise that officials don’t need increases… the poorest of the poor do. ‪#‎perception‬ ‪#‎zumamustfall‬”

South African business owners are stepping up to the plate & showing the president & government true leadership.

They have pledged to give their salary increases to charities.

“You have to lead by example & if our president can’t… then I will.”

Over 12 million South Africans go to bed hungry, every night… 4 million of those are children. Over 50% of our people can’t find work & a quarter of our population have to choose between their taxi fare to work or eating a sandwich for lunch.

“I own my own business & I’m lucky enough to be able to give & get increases. So this year instead of taking from the country, I’m going to give back… I am pledging to give my increase to a charity for the rest of the year. I feel like if the president wont lead us, then we need to start leading each other.”

The state of our nation is devastating & our government have again chosen themselves over South Africa.

“Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.”

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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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