EDITORIAL | SA should’ve tightened its belt years ago, not made ...

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EDITORIAL | SA should’ve tightened its belt years ago, not made a promise it can’t keep

If the ConCourt rules for unions on the public service wage deal, the state’s position will be weakened

Editorial

Finance minister Tito Mboweni drew a line in the sand with public service unions during his budget speech on Wednesday, insisting on moderate increases for public servants. To add fuel to the fire, he mentioned performance bonuses could be phased out and “some allowances or benefits” amended or abolished. Not only did the state renege on its last multiyear agreement with the unions, but it has now also set the table for another rough round of negotiations.

The government finally seems to be moving towards aligning wage talks with SA’s fiscal position and prevailing economic conditions. Should we rise for a standing ovation? Not so fast.

Unsurprisingly, unions are frothing at the mouth. Cosatu’s parliamentary coordinator, Matthew Parks, described it as a “blatant attempt to undermine the democratic institutions and scapegoat public servants for the mismanagement of the economy”...

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