1. How is the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers (the Commission) established?
It is established by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act 92 of 1997 (“the Commission Act”) as envisaged by the provisions of section 219 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa that prescribe that National legislation must establish an independent commission to make recommendations concerning the salaries, allowance and benefits referred to in subsection (1).
2. What is the Commission’s mandate and where does this mandate come from?

The Commission obtains its mandate from:

  • Section 219 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act 108 of 1996, which require an Act of Parliament to establish a framework for determining salaries, allowances and benefits
  • The Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act, Act 92 of 1997 (the Commission’s Act), as amended, establishes the Independent Commission and outlines the functions of the Commission, including the publishing of annual recommendations relating to the salaries, benefits and allowances
  • The Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act, Act 20 of 1998, as amended, provides a framework for determining the salaries, benefits and allowances of public office bearers.
3. How are the Commissioners are appointed, who appoints them and what is their term of office?

Section 3 of the Act provides for the appointment of Commissioners and the Commission to consist of eight members appointed by the President. All members of the Commission serve in a part-time capacity for a non-renewable term of office of five years.

4. Who are the Commission’s stakeholders?

The Commission’s stakeholders are the public office bearers.

In terms of Section 1 of the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office-bearers’ Act, 1997, as amended by section 7 of the Judicial Officers (Amendment of Conditions of Service) Act, 2003, “office bearer” means:

(a)  any member of the Cabinet, any Deputy Minister, any member of the National Assembly, or any permanent delegate to the National Council of Provinces;

(b)  any member of the Executive Council of a Province or any member of any provincial legislature;

(c)  any member of any Municipal Council of any category or type of municipality;

(d)  any person holding the office of-

i)   Constitutional Court judge or a judge, as defined in section 1 of the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act, 2001 (Act No. 47 of 2001) and

ii)  Magistrate, who is appointed under section 9 of the magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944 (Act No. 32 of 1944), read with section 10 of the Magistrates’ Act, 1993 (Act No. 90 of 1993) and

(e)  Any member of the National House of Traditional Leaders, any member of any provincial house of traditional leaders or any traditional leader.

5. Which factors are considered when making recommendations?

When making recommendations, the Commission in terms of section 8(6) of the Commission’s Act, must take the following into account:

  • the role, status, duties, functions and responsibilities of the office-bearers concerned;
  • the affordability of different levels of remuneration of public office bearers;
  • current principles and levels of remuneration, particularly in respect of organs of state and in society generally;
  • inflationary increases;
  • the available resources of the state; and
  • any other factor which, in the opinion of the Commission, is relevant.
6. What procedure is followed when making recommendations until the final decision is made?
  • The Secretariat conducts research, benchmark with public and private sector and analyse salary surveys in the market
  • The Secretariat prepares the draft report on recommendations
  • Seek inputs from Commissioners
  • Statutory consultation with stakeholders
  • Approval by Commission
  • Delivery to the President
  • Delivery to Parliament
  • Press conference
  • Publication (Government Gazette)
7. What is the difference between the recommendations and the determination?
  • Recommendations of the POBs are made by the Commission concerning  salaries, allowances and benefits, the upper limits of salaries, allowances and benefits, and the resources which are necessary to enable an office-bearer to perform his/her functions effectively.
  • Determination is the approval of the Commission’s recommendations and it is the final decision regarding the annual salary adjustment of POBs. The recommendations of Judges, Magistrates and President are approved by both houses of Parliament and thereafter President published determination of Magistrates and Judges.
  • Recommendations of other public office bearers are approved by President excluding local government public office bearers which are approved by Minister of Cogta in consultation with relevant provincial MEC.
8. How often are the recommendations made?

The recommendations are done annually.

9. How does the Commission operate?
  • The Commission is required by the Act to convene meetings at least once in every year at a time and place determined by the chairperson of the Commission.
  • The Commission is administratively supported by the Secretariat designated by the Director-General: Office of the President after consultation with the Commission.
10. What are the Commission’s underlying principles and objective in determining public office bearers remuneration?
  • The Commission formulated a set of underlying principles it has utilized in exercising the discretion and responsibility conferred on it by the Constitution and legislation
  • The principles fall into two interrelated classes
  • The first category is drawn from the objectives and values of the constitutional democracy
  • The second category of principles are meant to be practical guides in formulating a just remuneration dispensation
  • The above categories are explained in the First Major Review Report – page 64 to 76