Two surveys put Zuma among world’s five highest paid presidents

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has been ranked among the world’s five highest paid presidents.

This is according to two surveys published yesterday, one of which was compiled by global media group CNN, which ranked Zuma as the fourth highest paid president in the world.

Zuma was ranked below Barack Obama in first place, followed by Stephen Harper of Canada and third-placed Angela Merkel of Germany. Zuma (earning $223 500 according to the survey) is listed as earning more than David Cameron of the UK ($214 800), Shinzo Abe of Japan ($202 700), François Hollande of France, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Matteo Renzi of Italy, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Narendra Modi of India and China’s Xi Jinping who earns just $22 000.

The survey also notes that Putin recently took a 10% pay cut in solidarity with his country’s financial woes and now takes just $136 000 home.

Media 24, which ran a similar survey yesterday, but with a rand value comparison, put Lee Hsien Loong, the president of Singapore, in first place with an annual salary of R21-million. Zuma reportedly takes R2.75-million back home to Nkandla each year and is in fifth place among the world’s highest paid leaders, while David Cameron was recorded as earning R2.65-million.

In the Media 24 survey – which with the exception of Loong has the leaders in the same order as the CNN one – China’s Xi Jinping earns just R270 000.

Contacted for comment, presidential spokeswoman Zanele Mngadi referred questions to Mac Maharaj, who could not be reached for comment last night.

– Shaun Gillham

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