Johannesburg Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has a difficult battle ahead if he is to curb the ballooning cost of the public service, the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Thursday.
"He has correctly diagnosed the problem, but that was the easy part. The real test will be in the implementation, and he may run into some fierce opposition," the chamber's president Janine Myburgh said in a statement.
"The public service and municipal unions are already calling for wage increases of around 15%, and unless these demands can be resisted, the whole plan to dig South Africa out of financial trouble will flounder."
Nene presented his 2014 mini budget in Parliament on Wednesday.
Myburgh welcomed Nene's insistence on better management and less wastage in state-owned companies.
"These companies are consuming the wealth of the country and giving us very little in return. Tough action is long overdue," said Myburgh.
She said some of Nene's proposals lacked detail, but welcomed the fact that he did not shy away from the seriousness of the economic situation.
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