DPSA Director-General, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi

The circular for the implementation of two types of benefits for Senior Management Services (SMS) has been issued by the Department of Public Service and Administration.

The circular deals with the 2023 SMS cost of living adjustment to all Heads of both national and provincial Departments as well as provincial administrators.

The two distinct types of benefits according to circular 22 of 2023 are translation of the current non-pensionable cash allowance into a pensionable salary with effect from 1 April 2023; and an additional three-point three percent (3.3%) pensionable salary adjustment to all members of the SMS employed in the public service with effect from 1 April 2023.

In the circular, an example is provided of SL 13: 1 105 383 + 3.3% = 1 141 860 + 12 months payment of non-pensionable cash allowance in terms of paragraph 7 of DPSA Circular 52 of 2022 which is 20 340 = 1 162 200 (new notch).

The above example is also clarified further in the table below:

Salary notch 13 as at 31 March 2023 Salary notch plus 3.3% Non-pensionable allowance (NPA) * 12 months New notch as at 1 April 2023
1 105 383 1 105 383 + 3.3% = 1 141 860 1 695 x 12 =
20 340
1 162 200

When it comes to the scope of applicability of the circular, the determination applies to SMS members who are appointed in terms of the Public Service Act, 1994 and SMS members in the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) appointed in terms of the SASSA Remuneration, Grading and Performance Management Framework.

It also applies to the sectoral Ministers of Defence and Militarily Veterans, Justice and Correctional Services and Police will make appropriate determinations for SMS members employed in terms of the following Defence Act, 2002, Correctional Services Act, 1998 and the South African Police Act, 1995.

Revised salary scales and translation keys

To give effect to the adjustment with effect from 1 April 2023, the MPSA approved the following revised salary scales and translation.

Appointees to the revised salary scale:

Appendix Occupation category and PERSAL Table Code
A Public Service Act appointees
B Translation key: full time SMS members
C Translation key: 6/8 SMS members
D Translation key: 5/8 SMS members
E Translation key: 3/8 SMS members

 Payment of pay progression.

“It must be further noted that each department shall process the payment of the pay progression to all qualifying employees employed in the public service in respect of the applicable performance cycle in terms of the Incentive Policy Framework with effect from 1 April 2023,” she said.


The DPSA requested the National Treasury (PERSAL) to implement the cost-of-living adjustment in the following manner:

SMS members admitted to the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF)

  • The component basic salary and the employer contribution to the GEPF of the Total Cost-to-Employer (TCE) package are adjusted programmatically.
  • The adjustment to the component flexible portion is added to the sub-component non-pensionable allowance as default.

SMS members not admitted to the GEPF.

According to Ms Makhasi, the adjustment to the total TCE package is added to the sub-component non-pensionable allowance (in the component flexible portion) as default.

She said members of the SMS are afforded the opportunity to re-structure their TCE packages, effective from 1 April 2023, except those who restructured their packages because of the tax amendments implemented in March 2023.

 “PERSAL will implement the salary adjustment programmatically on the system. The DPSA Model (2023 tax year) to structure SMS TCE packages is available on the DPSA website.

“Departments must inform SMS members in writing of their revised TCE packages, the way the adjustment is implemented, that errors will be rectified, and that any amounts that may have been overpaid or underpaid will be adjusted.

“Should any problems arise with the implementation of this Circular, Departments must approach the DPSA for assistance,” she said.

The provisions of the Public Service Regulations 6(2) provide that an employee shall direct to his or her head of department any enquiry on a matter that falls within the functions of the Minister for the Public Service and Administration.

Departments are urged to ensure that their employees are aware of this provision in the Regulations and that they must address their enquiries to their departments for assistance.

Where departments are not able to assist employees, the departments may approach the DPSA through their Director-General’s / Head of Departments (HoDs) for assistance.