Zuma must freeze own pay first - Sunter

2012-10-18 16:11

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma must lead the way by telling the nation that he will freeze his salary increase and not take a bonus, scenario planner Clem Sunter said on Thursday.

"President Jacob Zuma must tell us what is he going to do as the president to address inequality. He must be the first to tell us that he is willing to freeze his increase for the benefit of the poor," he said.

Sunter commended the move to freeze salary hikes and bonuses for CEO and executive directors in both public and private sector.

"But the president must tell us what he is going to do to cut back the range of benefits that government officials enjoy, such as travel allowances," he said.

On Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma announced the outcome of his second meeting with business, labour and community representatives, which was aimed at addressing the economic challenges facing the country.

The meeting called on CEOs and executive directors in the private sector and senior executives in the public sector to agree to suspend increases in salaries and bonuses over the next 12 months, to signal their commitment to build an equitable economy.

They also called for a national conversation on income inequalities.

A committee would be set up to consider the local and international experience in addressing income inequalities and would develop further proposals within the next six months.

The National Education Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) pledged its support on Thursday.

"Our union has been calling for a moratorium on salary increases of all senior bureaucrats and political leaders in order to address the unacceptable income disparities for years now, and we are happy that something is being done about it," said spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

However, Nehawu was disappointed that the call came after the president approved a 5.5% salary increase for public officials this financial year.

Earlier, chief economist at Econometrix Azar Jammine said the government could lose R5bn in tax revenue if it implemented the new call.

"Assuming that the executive directors and CEOs received an increase of 7% to 8%, South Africa would lose R5bn in tax revenue in 12 months," he said.

Jammine and other analysts have warned that freezing salary hikes would deal with the symptom of inequality instead of the root cause.

"The cause is that South Africa has low levels of education and skills development... many of the people are not employable.

"The solution is in the government's national development plan. I was surprised it was not mentioned during this meeting," said Jammine.

Lulu Krugel, an economist at auditing firm KPMG, said freezing salary hikes might be a good gesture, but it would not end inequality.

"If we want to address inequality, we have to get a long-term solution. We should not think that we can use one thing to solve everything," she said.

She said freezing salary increases of those who earned high incomes could send a positive message to the workers, but would not end tension between the workers and their employers.

Independent economist Richard Downing echoed Krugel's view. "There is a dichotomy between what government thinks is the way the economy must go forward and what business views as the way... It is much more than just a labour dispute," he said.

Downing pointed to the lack of law and order as one of the main causes of the unstable economy. "People can't keep to agreements."

He warned that freezing salary hikes would negatively affect the fiscus in the long term. "Our tax base will be eroded and our economy base will be eroded."

Nedbank economist Isaac Matshego said: "It's an appropriate gesture in the current environment. Whether it will lead to any fundamental change in improving relations between workers and employers, that is not known."


  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-10-18 16:19

    Nou so 'n bek kort jam! Sunter vir President!

      rejeanne.nel.33 - 2012-10-18 16:27

      Hell will "Freeze" over first

      lownabester - 2012-10-18 16:37

      Dis nie 'n April fools joke nie??? Zuma freeze his salary, never.

      daniel.jacobs.3766 - 2012-10-18 16:37

      -And pay back all the tax money he spent on his "Inkandla extavaganza"

      clifford.sithole.5 - 2012-10-18 16:42

      Why must he...His the President..He works very hard to keep this country running despite all the strikes and what not.

      christelle.james.7 - 2012-10-18 17:03

      Clifford, all due respect to your opinion - how does he work hard to keep the country running. The only running they country is doing, is backward buddy - have you not noticed

      andrez.kolesky - 2012-10-18 17:13

      Patel was responding to a question posed by listeners on SAfm whether Zuma would also take a pay hike freeze. "We've got move beyond the cynicism," said Patel. Freeze_both_private_public_sectors_Patel

      clive.kihn - 2012-10-18 20:01

      Clifford, even if the pres did work hard - how can you work hard when you don't know what you're doing? - the point is that he should set an example. But the only example he sets is one of profligacy and waste - as in Nkandla.

      dave.elmore.5 - 2012-10-18 20:28

      Yes Clifford, if the president spent less time on his what not, SA would be a far better place

      wwrer.ww - 2012-10-20 21:08

      And what are the union members going to do? Keep having more kids + a girlfriend. Make that 2 girlfriends. A string of kids, looked after by the taxpayers, free education free health care, free screwing around all year all day long enjoy it loving it all at the expense of taxpayers? No salary freeze for them. They can expand their number of girlfriends and kids. All paid by the taxpayers. No freezes there. More loafing and striking and littering and intimidation. Less hard work, and spending more time screwing the rest over. You know what? When the ANC started their non-violent protests in the 1960s, South Korea was poorer than Mozambique. Today everyone buys LG, Samsung, Hyundai, you name it. They are richer than South Africa and their economy is twice as large. Communists. You're an absolute disgrace to this country.

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-10-18 16:21

    100% correct. he must lead by an example.

      wayne.hardaker.3 - 2012-10-18 16:35

      Exactly! Look at the Malawian President, she took a 30% pay cut a few weeks ago. Yet our president continues to rape the economy, he's getting quite good at getting away with it.

      George - 2012-10-18 18:51

      We all know he leads with the point of the spear. I always thought Umkonto we Sizwe meant "The Spear of the Nation. Can't blame the poor man for not trying?!"

      clive.kihn - 2012-10-18 20:07

      Clifford, it is an embarrassment to the whole nation that the pres needs no help in being made to look like a fool - he manages it all by himself. And I see a lot of black names and faces in these forums who are very unhappy about Nkandla; it is not a race issue.

  • Willie - 2012-10-18 16:23

    Ministerial book need to be revised by the civil society, business,politicians everybody in the country. that book is the source of reckless expenditure

  • rob.gunning.1 - 2012-10-18 16:23

    Fat chance; not with a president that leads from the back.

      imam.madi.129 - 2012-10-18 19:38

      He leads from the front when there is looting to be done, so give the guy credit. As for SA he is not leading there so don't accuse the guy. He is there for himself and his own, stuff the rest. Just hang on for another term of nightmare, just hope reserve bank has enough ink and paper to last us that long.

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-10-18 16:23

    It is a bit too late, Zuma already took a huge bonus. It is called Nkandla.

  • surfing.sam.9 - 2012-10-18 16:23

    Dude, he has 100 mouths to feed and I mean, he is the president he just needs to come up with these ideas, not implement it himself, I mean after all, some are more equal than others.

  • mark.haupt.31 - 2012-10-18 16:26

    I'll give you one thing, Clem. You're a real optimist.

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2012-10-18 16:32

    Very well but we all know what these fat cats say and what they do is 2 completely differents things, so who will zuma be kidding???

  • lefnkompela - 2012-10-18 16:34

    Im 200% with you on this one and why dsnt he stop all developments in nkandla???

  • gerald.king.589 - 2012-10-18 16:36

    It wont matter, its just the Petrossian canapes with 10% less gold leaf for staters. It goes... STARTERS: He earns 2 to 3million. MAIN: He gets plenty millions more outside earning (arg. incl the 2mil). DESSERT: He uses public funds for private property in the bundus. NIGHTCAP/SEALER: Shower water.

      George - 2012-10-18 18:48

      And 10 wives as appetiser?!

  • Rhulani - 2012-10-18 16:39

    I assume this is admission of guilty before hands of public protector findings on investigations against Ikandla developments. I suggest him to keep his salary and stay away from our tax monies.

      johann.enslin.9 - 2012-10-18 17:18

      Go Rhulani!

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-10-18 16:41

    If Zoomer were paid what he is worth, he would have to pay in...and add millions for damages as well.

  • rebecca.pooe - 2012-10-18 16:43

    The problem is deeper than your educational level (grade 3), Mr president. The struggle continues

  • deon.delange.94 - 2012-10-18 16:44

    Zuma the hypocrite. Zuma the misogynist. Zuma the homophobe. Zuma the corrupt. Zuma the inept. Zuma the ... oh, what the hell, you know the rest.

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-10-18 16:45

    it won't matter if he freezes his salary we would all be fools to think that Zuma only gets money from being president!!! I am sure he also has a number of companies that benefit from him being president he just hides it better then other!

  • ludwe.kolwapi - 2012-10-18 16:45

    That's why he aint a leader ! Leaders lead by example,I mean its not higher grade,but then again what do you expect from someone who doesn't use common sense

  • Sandile Bhoma Ka Nduli - 2012-10-18 16:46

    Will this have an impact on this declining economy of the country. I think the solution to all will be that of resolving the country's economic affairs rather than depriving others.

  • mmaphongwana - 2012-10-18 16:46

    Mr Pres must lead the way as usual as he led on developing his own Nkandlaville,who must suffer while he's family live comfortably with tax payer's money,marries every after 2yrs? the way I'm ANC forever

  • lionel.schultz.1 - 2012-10-18 16:58

    "Assuming that the executive directors and CEOs received an increase of 7% to 8%, South Africa would lose R5bn in tax revenue in 12 months," Azar Jammine said. I think that Azar is been rather conservative in these single digit percentage increases, more like double digit increases and in some instances closer to 15%.

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-10-18 16:59

    What the president has said will not eleviate jobs.If he freezes his salary increase this will not eleviate jobs. This response to the crisis that the country is currently experience is all based on speaking to the idealistic masses and saying what the goverment thinks will make feel that action are being taken. Instead of formulating a long term plan that addresses the issue and making the masses understand the requirements that they will have to play in such a plan, he gives them some words he thinks will calm them down. The problem that has been put infront of the government are gonna spread out so wide and his actions required will not fix the bigger problem of no sustainable sensible plan. We are gonna end up with a economy that will decline if the masses are not being educated and then forced to tow the line. And it is the role first and foremost of government to regulate be it people, government, law and business!

  • ptmakgato - 2012-10-18 17:02

    Hahaha amen to this article, he must actually freeze his yearly salary as he has used 100 times his salary on zuma ville and some of things not publicly disclosed

      George - 2012-10-18 17:07

      Right on. Not all is lost, however. Parliament should decree that Nkandla should be converted to an asylum for delusional politicians showing illusions of grandeur. The bunker should be reserved for the really hard core cases. Any nominations?

  • Jakkals Venter - 2012-10-18 17:08

    Wen Nelson Mandela was elected as President i remember wen he received his first pay cheque he was chocked.His words was give half of the money to the poor children.No that is a leader Viva Nelson Mandela Viva

  • Robert Frankol - 2012-10-18 17:12

    Good call Clem...practice what you preach Zooma!!

  • eugene.muller.7 - 2012-10-18 17:15

    He will never..! Grabbing as much as he can while he can...

  • bobi.tsotetsi - 2012-10-18 17:22

    He must take a pay cut as well and reduce the trips and his wifes must get only 2000 a month an 1 trip in 12months

      lwandle.zulu.37 - 2012-10-18 20:25

      lol dats true

  • Thandisizwe - 2012-10-18 17:24

    I agree with Clem Sunter the President must lead with example but all in all it must be done

  • Makhavele - 2012-10-18 17:25

    You think President Jacob Zuma is ruling this country? No he isn't that smart, he's just the stupid perpetrater who takes orders from the cellphone, from the same people who are corrupting this country.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-10-18 17:31

    clifford it must be nice to live where you live in la la land thats why they the african national corrupters gets away with it

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-10-18 17:34

    Put your money were your mouth is.

  • lulama.mbelwa - 2012-10-18 17:36

    That is not enough, Zuma must stop the Nkandla upgrade if he really cares about the people. That money can make a huge difference.

  • mudau.takie - 2012-10-18 17:45

    First of all zuma is costing taxpayers enough money dat can be granted 2 thousands of south african families dat r being struck by poverty and lack of a serias need ,eg water on his wives only.wen adding his sallary 2 dat its worse ,I dnt knw if I xuld add the 200million project on his house..pple zuma is de reason why SA economy is going down ,he lacks leadership skills n dats a fact.he mst call off the 200milion project on his home n den tell adas 2 follow him as an example ,he went on 2 say de gov wil focus on the living conditions of mine workers ,dats a crap what abt the ada industries n department's living conditions?wat abt the rest of the pple wen an ordinary govnment employee can't aford a bond house?is dat exploitation or social descrimination?????

  • itumeleng.tshatiwa - 2012-10-18 17:47

    Mister President really needs professional help, he is surely on some kinda drugs or something im telling u...

  • sello.r.molefe - 2012-10-18 17:48

    It seems like no one is raisin the issue of 200 million...

  • civil.moabi - 2012-10-18 17:59

    everything he says,does,his behaviour,his comments in parliament about democracy is nonsense.even when he reads he cant pronounce properly

  • Erna - 2012-10-18 18:09

    Don't hold your breath, people. For zuma to do the honourable thing, he has to have honour and integrity, and we all know how the president is very short on those two characteristics.

  • doreen.nokwanda - 2012-10-18 18:28

    Couldn't agree more,leaders shall lead by example not just dictate and make decision that don't affect them in any way possible.

  • croix.mactee - 2012-10-18 18:34

    Has Jammine and others bothered to consider that at least for public servants, the pay burden would be significantly reduced - instead of merely saying the "tax revenue" would be compromised. What would the REAL effect be?

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-10-18 18:47

    Zuma and Govt officials must cut back on all expenses. I think its only fair for taxpayers to call for this as they are spending like there is no tomorrow!!! After all they can't account for the billions of taxpayers money lost. If he is not sure how it all works in troubled times he should consult with Mrs Banda the Kenyan President who cut her salary by 30Percent and sold her presidential jet. I'm just saying what's good for the goose is good for the gander!!!

  • mbambo.shi - 2012-10-18 19:02

    Typical, from a hyena, whose fiancial interest is at creating his bundu a New York city on the expense of the ever marginalised poor citizens.

  • joshua.mcallister.75 - 2012-10-18 19:03

    While I completly agree that people at the bottom earn way too little,

  • braamc - 2012-10-18 19:32

    Perhaps also stop stealing and abusing tax payers money, as a matter of fact step down. Criminal

  • rouan.villiers - 2012-10-18 19:38

    Well I say, if Zuma doesnt do it then all the CEO's should refuse. So much for leading from the front, this ANC government. Leading from the back almost got him locked up for rape, so maybe there is no hope.

  • nigel.vanysendyk - 2012-10-18 19:42

    long term solution is education, but Zuma wouldn't have a clue about this, so he spouts stupid ideas that have little influence, but its better than idiot Malema that spouts dangerous rhetoric that is destroying our future. & when I say our, I mean black, white, colored, indian, everybody

  • clive.kihn - 2012-10-18 19:59

    The words "Zuma" and "bonus" don't belong in the same sentence. What on earth could this total failure ever get a bonus for?

  • harald.voney - 2012-10-18 21:00

    How can he freeze his salary?? He has a 250mil house to pay for!! The stupid hypocyte!!

      eloise.botha - 2012-10-18 21:56

      You mean that we are going to pay for...

  • bruce.dexter.5 - 2012-10-19 03:25

    Most of his income comes from other corrupt activities, so freezing his "official" salary and bonus will have almost no impact.

  • william.hlakoane - 2012-10-19 05:39

    What a stupid president we have, firstly he take a 5% increase on his salary and then tell nation that he is going to freeze their salaries to address inequalities.......i think we should take our president to school of economics, we can never be equal and never will, he must jus accep the fact that he is there to serve the nation and not compete with us.

  • julie.braun.1238 - 2012-10-19 06:47

    Its a case of do what i say, not what i do..... What a crock..

  • sirmelvin - 2012-10-19 07:03

    I think it's just right that a leader should lead by EXAMPLE

  • stephen.scott.376043 - 2012-10-19 07:49

    His wealth doesn't come from his salary, it comes from........well we all know where it comes from.

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