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South African state workers demand 10% wage increases

A R2 500 increase in monthly housing stipends, among other stipulations.
Image: Bloomberg

labour unions representing South Africa’s 1.3 million state workers demanded 10% pay increases to help them offset soaring electricity, transport and food costs.

The unions are also pushing for a single-year pay deal because they no longer trust the government to honor longer-term accords, according to a presentation they made to the public sector bargaining council on Wednesday That comes after the government reneged on increases agreed to in 2020, the final year of a three-year deal, on the grounds that it was unaffordable.

The remuneration of civil servants accounts for almost a third of total government expenditure and bowing to demands for inflation-beating increases would derail the National Treasury’s plans to rein in the budget deficit and bring runaway state debt under control. Credit-rating companies have repeatedly cited South Africa’s high wage bill as a major risk to state finances. The annual consumer inflation rate is currently 5.9%.

When the government backtracked on the 2018 accord, it argued that the Department of Public Service and Administration didn’t have a mandate from the Treasury to sign off on the terms — a view upheld by the nation’s top court. The unions now want written confirmation from the Treasury that it has delegated the necessary negotiating authority to the department.

The unions’ other demands include:

  • A R2 500 increase in monthly housing stipends.
  • Allowances of 12% of workers’ basic salary when disasters such as the coronavirus pandemic strike.
  • Permanent employment for teacher assistants, community workers and security force reservists.
  • The government is set to respond to the unions’ demands on May 19. The February budget estimated that the state’s annual salary bill will rise by an average of 1.8% annually over the next three fiscal years.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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“Okay, Houston, we’ve had a problem here”!

Baroness Thatcher had the mighty British armed forces and police force behind her when she made her stand against the labour unions. She won the war.

Cyril Rampahosa currently faces his Margaret Thatcher moment without a well-trained, motivated, equipped, and mobilizable army and police force. The local armed forces are merely an extension of the social grant. It is a jobs-for-votes project.

If he gives in and agrees to a 10% increase, the country suddenly faces the increased probability of running into a hyperinflationary death spiral.

He will be facing militant labour unions on his own and with his back against the IMF wall. He will be outnumbered and he will be overrun if he makes a stand. That means he will throw the nation under the bus and accede to the demands of the unions.

Absolutely right Sensei.
Problem is that Maggie had more Balles than the entire cabinet put together !!

Our esteemed political leader, the honourable President Cyril Ramaphosa will react the same way as when he met the trade unions on the 1st of May.
https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/the-workers-have-spoken-and-we-must-listen-ramaphosa/
The gutless, spineless sucker, the opposite of a brave and wise leader, will hardly resist, especially when the unions will strike, toy-toy and destroy. He will cave in rollover, and expose the soft underbelly, so the state coffers can be further plundered.
Civil servants increased by 20-25% over the period 2009-2018, and their real salaries increased with 70% above inflation over this period.
And their performance, service delivery will only decrease.
https://mybroadband.co.za/news/security/442964-shack-dwellers-are-raiding-military-bases-and-stealing-their-electricity.html

End of comments.

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