President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the deputy president, members of the cabinet, and himself will all take a pay cut as part of a contribution to South Africa’s fight against the coronavirus.
“We have decided that the President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers will each take a one-third cut in their salaries for the next three months,” Ramaphosa said on Thursday night.
“This portion of their salaries will be donated to the Solidarity Fund.”
“We are calling on other public office bearers and executives of large companies to
make a similar gesture and to further increase the reach of this national effort.”
The Solidarity Fund – which was established to mobilise resources from companies, organisations and individuals to combat the coronavirus pandemic – has so far raised around R2.2 billion.
“It has already allocated around R1 billion to buy sterile gloves, face shields, surgical
masks, test kits and ventilators.”
Ramaphosa added that the fund will also allocate funds for humanitarian relief to vulnerable households, in addition to the R400 million set aside by the government for Social Relief of Distress grants.
“All of these efforts, while necessary and commendable, will not be sufficient on their
own to cushion the poor from the impact of this pandemic. Nor will they provide the relief that businesses and their employees require.
“Additional extraordinary measures will need to be put in place in the coming weeks
and months to absorb the sudden loss of income to both businesses and individuals,” Ramaphosa explained.
He added that the country was in a situation that demands swift action and exceptional methods, a situation that demands innovation and the mobilisation of every resource.
“Cabinet will be developing a comprehensive package of urgent economic measures
to respond both to the immediate crisis and to the severe economic challenges that
we must confront in the months ahead.
“Further announcements on the next phase of our economic and social support strategy will be made in due course.”