Unlike his colleagues who resigned to cash in on their ministerial benefits, former minister Michael Masutha said he did not have to resign and is now happily awaiting his pension.
This comes after yet another former minister, Mildred Oliphant, resigned yesterday. Nine others resigned after being left out of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet, and are now just regular members of parliament.
Retaining their jobs would mean their salaries of more than R2.4 million a year would be reduced to a little over R1 million – a near 50% pay cut. They would also have to forfeit the benefits of a ministerial position.
Not having to take the hard decision his colleagues were faced with, former justice minister Masutha said he was waiting for his pension.
He explained he did not have to resign as MP because he did not make the cut on the latest national parliamentary list, and was about 20 names below the threshold.
He is still on the list, but for him to return to parliament, several more resignations would have to happen.
The 53-year-old said the wait was on to see if he would make it into parliament and that could take up to five years, but in the meantime he was simply a retired minister.
If the list caught up with him and he was given the opportunity to serve again, he would consider his options, he said.
Masutha said he felt good to have served the country for 20 years and was not bitter that he did not make the cut.
“I have no issues with it. I’m happy for new minister Ronald Lamola. I had a three-hour visit with him last week where I shared the issues within the department.”
Yesterday, Oliphant resigned, following in the footsteps of Jeff Radebe, Derek Hanekom, Nomaindia Mfeketo, Tokozile Xasa, Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, Susan Shabangu, Siyabonga Cwele, Nomvula Mokonyane and Bathabile Dlamini.