Decision to freeze salary increases welcomed – COSATU

Federation commends commission for acknowledging that dire economic situation has affected workers

COSATU statement on the recommendations of a salary freeze for Political Office Bearers  

14 November 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted and welcomes the recommendations submitted by the Independent Commission on the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers that all political office bearers should not get any salary increase this year because of the dire economic situation.

This decision is long overdue and the federation commends the commission for acknowledging that the dire economic situation has affected the workers and the people of South Africa badly.  The huge salaries and benefits that are paid to political office bearers and senior bureaucrats are the source of the existing inequalities and unacceptable income disparities that currently exist in the public service.

We hope that government can seize this momentum by reducing the exorbitant packages paid to the National and Provincial Cabinets, Members of Parliament, Judges and senior managers in the parastatals.  COSATU also calls on government to reduce the size of National and Provincial Cabinets and the number of Members of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures. 

While we welcome this decision, we also want to caution government not to use this as a prelude to freeze or moderate the salaries of lowly public servants, when the negotiations open in 2018. The lowly public servants are the ones, who are at the coalface of service delivery. It is totally unacceptable that police officers, nurses and teachers will have to work for nine {9} years before earning an annual salary of a director-general.

The South African working class is facing mounting social challenges and it’s about time that political leaders show some solidarity with the suffering masses.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 14 November 2016