Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's proposed freeze on salary
increases for one year would apply to both the private and public sector,
Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Thursday.
"The announcement by the president covered both the
private sector as well as the public sector... so it would certainly include
the public sector," Patel told SAfm.
He was responding to a question posed by listeners on
whether Zuma would also take a pay hike freeze.
"We've got move beyond the cynicism," said Patel.
"Everybody must show some restraint. We've got to do it
in the public sector, we've got to do it in the private sector."
The minister was speaking after Zuma held a meeting with
business, labour and civil society on Wednesday to discuss how to recover
investor confidence in the economy.
This was where Zuma reportedly called on all CEOs and
executive directors in the public sector and senior executives in the public
sector to agree to a freeze on increases in salaries and bonuses over the next
Patel said: "The intention (of the proposed freeze)...
is to respond to an enormous frustration that exists among sections of the
workforce at the high income inequalities in South Africa.
"If we want to rebuild the economy... and act with one
vision, we need a sense of shared responsibility.
"So this is an important symbolic act."
Patel said during the discussions, "all parties
recognised that our current collective bargaining system is broadly sound...
"At the same time, very legitimate grievances have
emerged during this period."
Zuma called the meeting in a bid to end a wave of violent
wildcat strikes that has hit the country in the past weeks, sparked by the
shooting of 34 striking miners by police at the Lonmin [JSE:LON] platinum mine in
Marikana, Rustenburg in August.