Govt, unions must work together on bloated public sector - Ramaphosa

The president was speaking at a conference held at the University of Johannesburg, where he reflected on 25 years into democracy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - As concerns continue around the public sector's large wage bill, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday government should work with unions to find a solution instead of excluding them.

Ramaphosa said unions do understand the burden this problem was placing on municipalities and were committed to sit together and find a solution.

The president was speaking at a conference held at the University of Johannesburg, where he reflected on 25 years into democracy.

There were ongoing concerns of what impact, any steps to rectify this, would have on workers including voluntary severance packages.

But Ramaphosa seemed to be positive about the situation, saying unions understood the burden large salaries had on the state, leaving little money to spare for service delivery.

“It’s working with our unions to find durable solutions because once it hits 73%, in no time it will go to 80% and 85%. And the service delivery, which we all want, will not happen,” he said.

Last week, Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu told Parliament that his department would save R20 billion if 30,000 workers aged between 55 and 59 took early retirement.