Cosatu wants government benefits cancelled and wages frozen

By Doug Mattushek - 05 August 2019Views : 826

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has pleaded with President Cyril Ramaphosa to freeze government wages for three years.

The Citizen reports that Cosatu has reiterated the need to cut spending on the salaries of ministers, deputies and councillors.

Ramaphosa has already tasked Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Minister of Public Service Senzo Mnchunu and Minister of Public Works Patricia de Lille to review the ministerial handbook and identify where the spend on perks can be cut.

However, Cosatu want to take this one step further.

"A wage freeze is necessary and benefits have to be overhauled," said Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

"The public service is very wasteful and there are plenty of areas to cut, which include unnecessary travelling, security upgrades and guards.

"There has been resistance in the past whenever we called for the review of the ministerial handbook. Due to this handbook, we have seen instances of ministers travelling to parliament in Cape Town with a group of people who included relatives – there to do nothing other than carrying bags, when the country is short of necessary resources.

"Hiding behind the ministerial handbook prescripts has led to a minister spending a whopping R700 000 on travelling with a spouse because that was within the law.

"Currently, they purchase cars as they please. They are looking at their positions as some kind of a reward. Cosatu wants allowances to be proportional to the kind of work public office bearers do – from councillor to minister level."