Public wage bill: Civil servants easy targets, say unions

JOHANNESBURG – Public servants are easy targets in goverment’s bid to trim the wage bill. So say labour unions.

That’s while they’re accusing government of doing little to bring corrupt politicians in the upper echelons to book.

It comes ahead of Wednesday’s budget presentation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned government’s current debt levels are becoming unsustainable.

The state wants to cut 30,000 jobs and freeze pay for three years.

But some experts aren’t sure.

“There’s very little room in terms of the wage bill,” said Siya Biniza, senior political economist.

“Government has really done the most it can. Fortunately, inflation hasn’t breached five percent over the last year.”

Unions say any proposal to cut civil servants’ wages can only be presented at the bargaining council.