Judges will not get salary increases this year, while magistrates will receive increases of between 2.8% and 4.5%.
President Cyril Ramaphosa turned down a recommendation from the independent commission for the remuneration of public office bearers to increase the remuneration of judges by 3%, backdated to April 2019.
“Having considered the serious economic challenges the country is experiencing and the fact that the fiscus is currently constrained, I do not intend to increase the salaries of Constitutional Court judges and judges of other courts,” said Ramaphosa in a letter to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise.
The commission recommended that the salaries of magistrates be increased by 4% with effect from April 1 2019.
Ramaphosa decided to increase the salaries of special-grade chief magistrate, regional court president, regional magistrate, chief magistrate and senior magistrate by 2.8%, while magistrates wil get 4.5% increases.
In terms of the Judges’ Remuneration and Conditions of Employment Act (and the Magistrates Act for magistrates), ConCourt judges and judges of other courts are entitled to “annual salary and such allowances and benefits as determined by the president from time to time by notice in the gazette, after taking into consideration the recommendation of the commission”.
The act requires the notice to be submitted to parliament for approval before publication.Ramaphosa last month rejected a recommendation to increase salaries of cabinet members and senior parliamentary officials but gave ordinary MPs a 2.8% increase.