Ginwala`s Statement On Remuneration Of Public Office Bearers

6 December 2009

Today`s statements in the Sunday Times by the former ANC Member of Parliament and Speaker of the National Assembly, Frene Ginwala, in which she berates the decision by President Jacob Zuma to approve the 7 percent salary increase for public office bearers, is gravely regrettable.

It is a saddening reality that the quality of our public discourse is being increasingly driven by a growing penchant for sound bites and lure of personal publicity, rather than facts and honesty. It is indeed a sad day that those that we regard highly as the repositories of our historical memories utilize their privileged standing in our society to misinform, rather than provide guidance our young democracy needs.

As the former Speaker in Parliament, Ginwala is well informed about the processes and procedures that are followed in the process of deciding the remuneration of public office bearers. Similarly, as the former ANC NEC member, she is conversant with the internal organisational procedures that disciplined members follow when raising matters of this nature.

One of the reasons an independent commission is tasked with the critical responsibility of considering the salaries of public office bearers is to ensure that the process is without influence from politicians and that it is characterised by legitimacy and transparency. When Judge Willie Seriti, who chairs the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers, recommended that the salaries of office bearers, including that of the President, be increased by 8 percent, President Zuma turned it down as he felt it was excessive.

In the face of the recession and the economic hardships facing our people, the President demonstrated leadership by approving 7 percent across the board for all categories – less than the amount proposed by Judge Seriti.

The President`s sensitivity to the current economic climate was lauded by many in our society, including leading opinion makers. Whatever drives Ginwala, out of the rest of us, to see poor leadership out of this political boldness remains a mystery. Her blinding pettiness is indeed astounding.

Issued by
The Office of the ANC Chief Whip
ANC Parliamentary Caucus
Parliament of the Republic of SA
Cape Town, 8000

Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930