In a media engagement, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the notion that Members of Parliament seem to be living lavishly at the taxpayer’s expense.
“I have seen Members of Parliament, who publicly seem to be living it up, but they are not. The work we take on or impose on them as MPs is quite costly, many of them don’t end up making ends meet,” Ramaphosa mentioned after being asked whether the topic of benefits given to MPs and ministers should be re-examined.
According to TimesLive, Ramaphosa said that the country’s MPs haven’t had salary increases for several years now due to the constraints placed on the public purse, which has continued to stagger as a result of the pandemic.
“The benefits have been there. Always I find it very difficult to take away benefits from people.
“But I guess in really difficult and trying times, there will come a time and those can be looked at. But for now, I think MPs have really been cut to the bone, they’ve not had an increase for quite a while now.
“Quite often, to many people it may seem like they are living it up, but not in real life. And believe you me, it’s not, I was once an MP,” said Ramaphosa.
The president also mentioned that MPs have a hectic work schedule, having to carry costs of two households, one based in Cape Town and the other in their hometown.
“The work we impose on our MPs is quite costly and many of them end up not making ends meet,” Ramaphosa added.