South African military personnel ranked private to colonel will today collectively receive R750 million in accumulated backpay backdated to July 1 last year, the Ministry of Defence says.
President Jacob Zuma announced the saary increases on December 16 last year. Defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu afterwards said the money for the increases of up to 98% for Military Skills Development System privates and a once-of bonus for low-ranking members of the South African National Defence Force would be “borrowed forward from the long-term procurement budget for logistics, which would be refunded from the medium-term expenditure framework allocation for salary increases, which becomes available in the 2010- 11 fiscal year.”
Business Day newspaper at the time reported announced the increases would cost the state R1.9 billion a year. The Times newspaper adds she said the unbudgeted award was “an indication of the commitment to improve the conditions of service of soldiers and a display of the importance they value their troops”.
Sisulu’s spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya says colonels and naval captains were given a 2% increase in December and a bonus of 10% of his or her previous salary. MSDS trainees will see their salary increase from R2500 a month to R5000 and will be in line for a R12 500 bonus.
Business Day in December had slightly different figures. It said the salary of a first-year MSDS trainee would rise ing from R2643 a month to R4318, that of a second-year trainee from R2643 to R5343, a private from R5286 to R7871, a lance corporal from R6149 to R8519, and a sergeant from R8962 to R10 182. For most of the rankings above this level the increases were less substantial.
“The increase package includes the one-of distribution of a bonus of R1688 to each solder instead of the normal allocation of incentive bonuses to high-ranking officers only, which has generated a lot of discontent within the ranks,” the Business Day said at the time.
The increases bring military pay roughly in line with police salaries. Military personnel are paid on the 15th of the month.