Today's Labour News

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ramaphosa2City Press reports that according to Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu, President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to make the cabinet, which was reduced from 35 members to 28 in 2019, even smaller.

The government is also considering doing away with deputy ministers, who have no constitutional role in the government. Fringe benefits of political office bearers and management positions could also be curtailed as part of the government’s proposal to public service unions, according to Mchunu. Trade unions are threatening mass action due to the freezing of salaries in the civil service after years of increases above inflation. “There is a strong feeling in the ruling party that he (Ramaphosa) should reduce the cabinet further, and this is what he is considering,” Mchunu said at a media conference last week. He made a moving plea that public service unions should agree to a 0% increase in salary negotiations that took place in the public service bargaining chamber on Friday. “These are the most difficult negotiations that have been conducted in the chamber due to the weak state of our economy, the fact that we are heading for a fiscal abyss, the way in which Covid-19 has affected us and because we are already behind with salary negotiations due to the delays with the last leg of the previous salary agreement,” Mchunu pointed out. The negotiations lasted all day on Friday and only adjourned at 10.30 on Friday night. Negotiators battled to try find ways to grant increases to government officials without increasing the state’s wage bill. The government’s negotiators made no mention of plans to downsize the cabinet, abolish the posts of deputy ministers or reduce the fringe benefits of management positions, but, according to Mchunu, it was imperative that there should be a “reorganisation of the state”.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Jan De Lange at City Press (paywall access only)

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