Furore ex­plodes over plan to cut pay

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - LUYOLO MKENTANE @luy­olomken­tane

LABOUR fed­er­a­tion Cosatu has is­sued a stern warn­ing to North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, urg­ing him to stop in­ter­fer­ing in mat­ters out­side of his man­date.

This comes af­ter the ANC pro­vin­cial chair­per­son al­legedly planned to uni­lat­er­ally slash the salaries of pub­lic ser­vants in an ef­fort to turn around the prov­ince’s fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion.

Yes­ter­day, Cosatu and some of its af­fil­i­ated unions, such as the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and Al­lied Work­ers Union and SA Demo­cratic Teach­ers Union, crit­i­cised the plan, and did not rule out mass action if pub­lic ser­vants were ill-treated and seen as scape­goats “for the dire eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try”.

Cosatu spokesper­son Sizwe Pamla called on Mahumapelo not to vi­o­late the Ba­sic Con­di­tions of Em­ploy­ment Act by un­der­min­ing col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ments.

Pamla said that if the premier was gen­uinely con­cerned about the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion of the prov­ince, he should lead by ex­am­ple by vol­un­teer­ing to re­duce his salary and do­nate a por­tion of it to the poor and vul­ner­a­ble in the prov­ince.

He added that Mahumapelo needed to fo­cus his en­er­gies on “sort­ing out the mess of ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture that was dis­cov­ered and ex­posed by the au­di­tor-gen­eral last year, which amounted to R2.9 bil­lion; and also can­cel the ridicu­lous plans by his pro­vin­cial ad­min­is­tra­tion to buy him a pri­vate jet”.

Spokesper­son for the premier Brian Setswambung de­scribed the al­le­ga­tions as un­for­tu­nate and a com­plete mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

He said the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment un­der­stood that South Africa was not a fed­eral state and “salary ne­go­ti­a­tions are a prod­uct of col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing”.

“There is no in­ten­tion on the part of the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to en­ter­tain salary dis­cus­sions at a pro­vin­cial level.

“The pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is hard at work with ef­forts to im­ple­ment the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Plan in the prov­ince and will re­main fo­cused on this im­por­tant task that seeks to im­prove the liveli­hood of ci­ti­zens for the bet­ter,” he said.

He in­sisted there was no fi­nan­cial cri­sis in the prov­ince.

UN­DER FIRE: North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo has drawn crit­i­cism from Cosatu over an ap­par­ent plan to cut the salaries of pub­lic ser­vants in his prov­ince.

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