Sisulu: Salaries to cost state R30bn

2012-06-19 12:43

Pretoria - Public service salaries will cost the state R30bn, Public Service Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Tuesday.

"This is R1.8bn over what we have budgeted for," she told reporters in Pretoria.

"We will need to go into our reserves."

Sisulu said the government had offered public service workers a 9% increase made up of a 6.5% salary increase and a 2.5% increase in benefits.

Labour is demanding an 8% salary hike.

Negotiations between the two broke down last week when the government made its final offer. The unions have declared a wage dispute.

Sisulu said Treasury had budgeted for only a 5% increase.

"Government (is) in a situation where 9% is way above what it has budgeted for," she said.

Salary increases higher than the inflation rate would be unsustainable.

Sisulu said the government is inviting labour back to the negotiating table.

"They will be surprised that I have no horns and there is no devil in me," Sisulu told reporters in Pretoria.

"It is in their interest that we find an amicable solution."

Sisulu denied reports that she is a "union basher".

This related to her stance on unions within the SA National Defence Force.

"As far as the ruling party (ANC) are concerned, and the policy of the defence force, there is no place for unions in the defence force," said Sisulu.

"There is no place in the defence force for ill-discipline."

She was referring to striking defence force officers who went on the rampage at the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 2009.

Sisulu was moved from defence to public service by President Jacob Zuma during a cabinet reshuffle last week.

She said that, on average, seven months a year are spent negotiating with public service workers.

"I don't believe this is right."

She said a service charter is needed which would deal with, among other things, salary increases based on performance.

The charter would be necessary for the government to function properly.

"We cannot go on like this with a wage bill that is unaffordable.

"After a series of negotiations we are at a point where we can influence and talk to labour so that we can find each other," said Sisulu.

  • Larry Simon - 2012-06-19 16:08

    Let's see if its just saber rattling from Sisulu or do government have the appetite to take the unions on and do something!

  • Kenna - 2012-06-19 16:15

    Oh please, the state could do better by cutting the salary of the leadership (Zuma earns more than Obama) as well as firing about 60% of the inefficient workforce.

  • Kenna - 2012-06-19 16:16

    Especially when our inflation rate - the real one - sits at around 12%

  • ronald.gibson.980 - 2012-06-19 16:30

    It is time that the labour force and the unions in this country are given a wake-up call now that the unions can be held liable for damage during demonstrations. It is time that the employers, companies or the tax payer in this case, also declare a strike and march to protest the ridiculous salaries and increases that incompetent and lazy workers and unions keep on demanding. I would have no reservations in paying more for services or salaries if we got VALUE FOR MONEY! We all have experienced the mediocrity prevalent in government departments and service in this country in general, and for this we pay a premium.

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-06-19 16:38

    Inflation rate higher than salary increases would be unsustainable as the SA households cannot afford the persistend new taxes anymore. The worker class has already been sucked dry and still you want the blood! Salary increases based on performance. Please don't make me laugh! The managerial positions and up, don't even know what exactly they want from their workers, but they want to rate on performance. Most of the people don't even have proper working contracts. SA use the $2Billion to start looking of SA's own people?

  • daniel.f.vanwijk - 2012-06-19 18:22

    How can somebody that spends more than R 40 million on flying around negotiate a wage increase and be credible ? Surely this is more than unsustainable. Please !!!!!

  • Kevin - 2012-06-19 18:22

    Perhaps "Princess Sisulu" should set an example by getting all her parliamentary colleagues and herself to take a 10% cut in salary. Then they would be able to go to he Unions from a position of strength. After all a basic parliamentary salary is around R700 000 per annum.

  • Rodney - 2012-06-19 18:43

    help me here what she main 2.5 percent on benifite.

      marius.vanderhoff - 2012-06-19 18:52

      housing and danger pay increase

  • jannie.beirowski - 2012-06-19 19:58

    I can understand the demands by the 20 mill contributing minority to be able to support the subsidies,goods and services handed to the 50 million non-contributing majority to buy their votes. "South Africa now appears to have a system of government whereby the ruling party is elected by the non- contributing majority, who in turn are then rewarded with subsidies, goods and services paid for from the earnings of the contributing minority. So the fact that after two decades of complete political control the ANC has failed to secure wealth generation systems for its people beyond affirmative action and nationalisation, well is that not the very definition of ineptocracy?" (Extract from foreign newspapers.)

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