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Saftu warns govt against austerity measures as Ramaphosa, unions wrap meeting

President Cyril Ramaphosa has wrapped up a closed-door meeting with organised labour federations amid worries about an economic crisis.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @PresidencyZA/X

JOHANNESBURG – President Cyril Ramaphosa has wrapped up a closed-door meeting with organised labour federations amid worries about an economic crisis.

Ramaphosa wrote to unions at the start of the week calling for an urgent meeting to discuss pressing issues.

It’s understood this includes discussions on policy priorities of the sixth administration, as well as plans to fast-track economic recovery in the next nine months.

The country’s weakening fiscal position has prompted urgent calls for cost-cutting measures by government.

This includes a moratorium on new infrastructure projects and a further wage freeze in the public sector.

But the proposals by the Treasury have again triggered a flurry of criticism by the labour sector.

The agenda between the Presidency and unions is also expected to address ways to juggle the fiscal deficit and workers’ interests.

Saftu’s spokesperson, Trevor Shaku, has warned government against implementing austerity measures to rein in runaway government spending.

“We are against the freezing of posts because the reduction in the headcount in the public sector is detrimental because it is just compromising the quality of public services in these institutions where the overwhelming majority of the population of South Africa depends on.”

Treasury will have some tough decisions to make when the medium-term budget policy statement rolls around in November.

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