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Nehawu's Makwaiba backs Ramaphosa despite tensions between union, govt

Nehawu has been critical of some of the decisions taken by the president and his ministers, more so in relation to how the unaffordable public service wage bill should be dealt with.

FILE: Nehawu president Mzwandile Makwaiba. Picture: @NEHAWU/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Nehawu president Mzwandile Makwaiba has reaffirmed the union’s support for President Cyril Ramaphosa amid existing tensions between the country’s biggest public service union and his administration.

Nehawu has been critical of some of the decisions taken by the president and his ministers, more so in relation to how the unaffordable public service wage bill should be dealt with.

Mzwandile Makwaiba said that contestation was a norm in the African National Congress (ANC).

He’s explained that even though they may differ with Ramaphosa from time to time, they will continue to back his leadership because they were the ones who championed his bid to become ANC president.

Makwaiba said, however, that this did not mean they would not challenge him if need be.

"We support him, there's no doubt about that but South African politics are contestation. We must affirm our position, we must affirm our interests in the leadership of the ANC and we must make sure that we are heard."

One of the issues which Nehawu and Ramaphosa do not agree on is the expansion of the South African Reserve Bank’s mandate.

Makwaiba supports those in the ANC alliance that want the mandate expanded to include job creation in line with the resolutions of the ANC conference.

Recently, the president affirmed the current status of the central bank, saying changes such as nationalising the bank would only be effected when the time was right.

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