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Government can afford more than 3% pay rise for civil servants: analyst – SABC News


Labor analyst Terry Bell says the government can afford a lot more than the 3% pay rise it is implementing.

Utility workers went on a one-day strike on Tuesday demanding a 10% salary increase.

The unions handed over a memorandum of demands which was signed and received by Acting Public Service and Administration Minister Thulas Nxesi outside the National Treasury office in Pretoria.

They are calling for an end to what they call an attack on collective bargaining — among other things. Bell says the government is dragging out wage talks to buy time to get workers to accept their offer of a three per cent pay rise.

“I think it shows the extent of the anger in the public service. I think they made a complete mess of this thing. Many public sector unions have made it clear that what the government is doing is failing the public servants who actually do the work. Nurses, police, people who work in the health sector, firemen, etc. These are the people who are not paid very high and they are the ones who are now being forced by the government. The government can afford much more than three percent, you can cut fat in certain areas to pay what you owe.”

Unions have given the government seven days to respond and meet their demands or face a national strike.

In the report below, civil servants vow to shut down services if their demands are not met:

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