The country’s second-biggest labour federation, Fedusa, is threatening to down tools in the public sector over government’s decision to backtrack on a three-year agreement that would have given civil servants a 7% wage increase from the beginning of March.

In his budget speech, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced that the public sector wage bill will be cut by R160.2 billion over the next three years.

Cosatu and Saftu have already called a declaration of war.

Fedusa’s General Secretary Riefdah Ajam says, “Government has reneged on its agreement. We will be declaring a dispute. That is a matter that’s been signed off three years already.”

“Government must come to the party. There was a clear expression by the Minister of Finance in 2018 that government had found the money. Now, all of sudden, they cannot find the funds but we continue with the agenda of wasteful expenditure without recovering funds that were looted.”