Today's Labour News

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mboweniThe Citizen reports that trade unions could put their political differences aside to fight a common enemy, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, whom they called a lackey of capitalists after he vowed to reduce the public service wage bill through retrenchments.  

Mboweni said over the weekend that the country’s bloated civil service contributed to the high bill and retrenchment of public servants will be implemented.  He claimed that R8 from every R10 spent by government went to salaries in the public service.  This was announced this on the eve of the medium-term budget statement, which Mboweni is due to deliver in Parliament on Wednesday.  Mboweni’s statement angered trade unions, with the SA Federation of Trade Union (Saftu) launching a scathing attack on him.  Economist and former Cosatu strategist Neil Coleman questioned the credibility of Mboweni’s figures on the public service wage bill.  But political economy analyst Zamikhaya Maseti commented that it could not be denied that the public service was bloated and something needed to be done.  However, the real fat that needed to be cut was at Cabinet level instead of the ordinary workers, Maseti argued, adding that:  “The debate about the civil service’s high salary bill should start with the Cabinet and the next layer, which is the directors-general, the deputy directors-general, chief directors and special advisers who take home huge salaries.”

  • Read this report by Eric Naki in full at The Citizen
  • Read too, Executive chaos with 14 Cabinet reshuffles and 129 ministers and deputy minister since 2009, on page 5 of Saturday Citizen of 20 October 2018

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page