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Public Service Dept to give details on reducing public wage bill

Department spokesperson Mava Scott says none of the initiatives put forward to deal with the escalating wage bill propose specific numbers for retrenchments.

Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Public Service and Administration Department says it will give details on ways on how to move forward a government-wide process to manage the state's escalating public wage bill.

The department says that this could include a comprehensive remuneration strategy, reworking the employment structure of departments, better management of leave and performance bonus awards.

This is the department’s response to reports which suggested that the state is looking to scrap almost 30,000 jobs in the public sector over the next three years.

It has strongly refuted the claims and called them misleading and damaging.

Department spokesperson Mava Scott says none of the initiatives put forward to deal with the escalating wage bill propose specific numbers for retrenchments.

Scott says the debate on the reorganising of micro organisations of the state is unavoidable but it would be unwise to pre-empt possible outcomes.

“Those hard choices are going to be debated with our social partners and the labour unions.”

Scott says there will be hard choices government will have to make.

“It’s a broader project than just numbers.”

But at the same time, trade unions like Nehawu insist the state needs to find other ways of cutting down on wasteful expenditure within government like reducing the number of ministries.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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