Members of parliament are in line for fatter salaries, but with the clock ticking towards the elections and many facing uncertain futures, they are demanding more gravy - not only better pay, but also improved pension packages.
An ordinary MP earns about R388 000 a year. Add perks and allowances and he walks away with a total package of R692 085.
President Thabo Mbeki, who met MPs regarding their pay in June, has appealed to the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Office-bearers, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, to consider a double-digit percentage salary hike for ordinary parliamentarians.
This could mean MPs getting between 10 percent and 13 percent - a far cry from the paltry 5,4 percent the commission suggested last year.
Last month, senior ANC MP Vytjie Mentor wrote to Mbeki, National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete and Secretary to Parliament Zingile Dingani, arguing that MPs were worse off than civil servants. Mentor said that with inflation soaring and the cost of living higher, MPs were feeling poorer.
Secretary to Parliament Zingile Dingani is understood to have written to Moseneke backing Mentor's arguments. Dingani himself received a massive 23 percent increase last year that boosted his salary to R1,3-million.
The president's proposal and those from other stakeholders will be discussed when the Moseneke Commission meets on Friday.
MPs were up in arms last year over the commission's review of the remuneration of public office bearers. The commission apparently told Mbeki ordinary MPs were overpaid.
Eventually, Mbeki kicked for touch and MPs had to settle for an inflation-linked 7,5 percent increase while their total package was considered.
full story from IOL here