The 11percent salary increase for parliamentarians at this time of economic belt-tightening is a bad example to set for the citizens of South Africa.
I believe there is another reason why the increase was so substantial this year - the pre-election year.
There are numerous parliamentarians who will retire or be retired this year.
Their pension payout will be supplemented by a substantial lump sum payment, equal to at least one or two year's salary, and based on the last year's salary. Not bad.
It is true that parliamentarians do not set their own salaries. That is the task of a judge who is appointed by the president.
This year the judge's initial determination was not as high. That, however, led to a near "revolt" by parliamentarians of all the political parties. The politicians then applied pressure on the president to have the judge's determination reviewed.
Pressure on the judge has had results and now the parliamentarians are a lot more happier.
If only civil service delivery could be improved by 11percent too, then we, the taxpayers, would have less reason to feel let down.
Valentin Volker, Pietermaritzburg