Zuma among world's best-paid presidents
Data compiled and released by global TV news network CNN comparing the annual salaries of heads of State from different countries has caused quite a stir locally and abroad. The results show that SA's very own Jacob Zuma ranks fourth overall, coining a tidy $223,500 annual package.
The results (based on information sourced from various government accounts by the Atlanta-based CNN news team) put the US's Barack Obama in first place, with a salary of $400,000, Canada's Stephen Harper and his $260,000 salary in second place, and Germany's Angela Merkel, with her $234,400 annual earnings, in third. The UK's David Cameron took fifth place, earning $214,800.
Sitting in 12th place - where the list ended - was China's Xi Jinping, who earns roughly one tenth of what Zuma does, at $22,000 - and this apparently after receiving a 60% salary increase earlier this year.
Some of the listed presidents requested salary cuts when they first came into office, like France's Francois Hollande, while others, in light of the world's financial woes, will be dropping their salary to save their governments money, like Russia's Vladimir Putin, who is taking a 10% salary cut. Given South Africa's rather precarious financial situation at present, one wonders if Zuma may ever make as grand a gesture as to agree to a salary cut. Bets are on.