Public sector salaries 44% higher than private

One in eight South Africans work for the public sector and earn on average 44% more than employees in the private sector, according to recent survey released by the SA Institute for Race Relations (SAIRR) on Tuesday.

According to the survey, 13% of South Africa workforce is employed in the public sector. This equates to 1,61m out of the total 12,8m people employed nationally.

While the figure is high, the SAIRR says many people are employed in state-run institutions such as water boards and liquor and tourism boards.

Researcher Lucy Holborn believes it important to keep track of the number of those employed in the public sector as it accounts for a sizeable portion of South Africa’s national budget and were increasing exponentially.

“In 2000, average public sector earnings were 12% higher than those in the private sector. In 2010, they were 44 percent higher than those in the private sector,” she said.

Last year, public servants went on strike for a 12 percent increase and R1000 housing allowance, compared with the government’s offer of a 6.5% increase and R700 for housing.

Unions eventually accepted for 7.5% and R800 housing allowance. [date:] 2011-02-04

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