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.
#Ramaphosa: I have decided to contribute half my Presidential salary to a fund to be managed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation Nelson and will direct resources to the many small social projects scattered across the country #ThumaMina #PresidencyBudget— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) May 23, 2018
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.
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.
I hear Cyril Ramaphosa has decided to get 50% pay cut and donate the other half... are all MPs/parliamentarians going to do the same? #PresidencyBudget— Kokwele M. Phillix (@Matome_Kay) May 23, 2018
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.
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.