SALGA head earns more than president – Kevin Mileham

Xolile George gets 36% salary rise in time of austerity, says party

SALGA CEO earns more than President Zuma

15 October 2015

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) annual report tabled in Parliament this week revealed that SALGA CEO, Xolile George, has received a generous annual salary increase from R3.5 million to R4.4 million during the last financial year.

The incudes R800 000 in bonuses and allowances which previously stood at R700 000.

This 36% increase is unconscionable considering he already earns more than President Zuma with an even heftier increase. After Mr George’s annual salary, the next level employees at SALGA earn less than R2 million a year. 

To put it into further perspective, Mr George will earn at least R1 million more than the Municipal Managers of South Africa’s two biggest metros, the City of Johannesburg and the City of Cape Town, who earn between R2.1 million – R3.3 million per annum.

Salaries have become the main cost driver over the medium term expenditure framework with compensation to employees expected to grow to R311.1 million in 2017/18.

SALGA has previously asked for additional budget due to insufficient funding to fulfil their mandate. This comes as the baseline allocation for local government conditional grants have been reduced in 2015/16 between 0.9% and 5.5% for each grant.

As the CEO of SALGA, Mr George needs to set the example of acting with austerity, focusing on serving to represent the 278 municipalities in South Africa. 

The DA will therefore write to the Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Richard Mdakane, to request that he call Minister Pravin Gordhan to report on a salary review process to normalise the salary scales within SALGA.

There is simply no justification for such an exorbitant increase, especially considering the dire financial straits many municipalities find themselves in. Our country cannot afford the ballooning public sector wage bill, and Mr. George's increase makes a mockery of the plight of both municipal workers and the taxpaying residents. 

By accepting Mr George’s salary increase we will allow SALGA to take more money out of the pockets of hard working South Africans when this could be better spent ensuring municipalities are able to deliver the services their residents need and want.

Statement issued Kevin Mileham, DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, 15 October 2015