POLITICS
24/05/2018 04:54 SAST | Updated 24/05/2018 04:54 SAST

Ramaphosa Is Not The First To 'Chop My Money'

Cyril Ramaphosa joins a long list of presidents taking a cut in salary...

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the City of London Corporation's Commonwealth Business Forum Banquet on Tuesday, April 17 2018.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Cyril Ramaphosa at the City of London Corporation's Commonwealth Business Forum Banquet on Tuesday, April 17 2018.

President Cyril Ramaphosa joined a growing list of African heads of state to take a salary cut.

The president announced in the presidency's budget vote speech on Wednesday that he would take a 50 percent pay cut, with half his salary going into a Thuma Mina (Send Me) fund to be run by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The fund will launch in June, and will be part of the centenary events to celebrate what would have been Mandela's 100th year. Ramaphosa earns R3.6-million a year, which means he will give away R1.8-million; or about R138,000 a month.

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Former Malawian president Joyce Banda - whose voluntary pay cut didn't save her when she was implicated in a corruption scandal.

Earlier this year, Face2Face Africa reported on Africa.com that footballer turned Liberian president George Weah announced a 25 percent salary cut when he was inaugurated as president. He followed Nigeria's Muhammadu Buhari, who took a 50 percent pay cut when he became president. Buhari, like Ramaphosa, campaigned on an anti-corruption ticket.

Tanzania's president John Magufuli cut his salary to US$4,000 [~R50,000] a month, and Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta took shaved his salary from US$14,000 to US$11,000 [from ~R175,000 to ~R137,500] a month.

ALSO READ: What Has Ramaphosa Accomplished In His First 3 Months In Office?

Egypt's strongman Abdel Fatah al-Sisi gave his property portfolio to the state and cut his salary to US$5,200 [~R65,000] a month. It doesn't seem to have made him any more popular or less tyrannical.

And in Malawi, former head of state Joyce Banda took a 30 percent pay cut, but was then turfed from office when she stole from the national money pot in a scandal called Cashgate.

Ramaphosa has a net worth calculated at between R4.6-billion and R6.4-billion, which he amassed from his time in business — and through being the favoured partner of a gazillion black empowerment deals.