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Cosatu: Govt can find other ways than cutting wage bill to save money

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled a budget that aimed to cut the state wage bill by R160 billion over the next three years.

Cosatu's members marched on Parliament on 19 February 2019 amid concerns over potential job cuts at state entities, like Eskom. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Amid a technical recession, some public service unions were threatening to down tools and bring the sector to a standstill if government went ahead with plans to cut its wage bill.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled a budget that aimed to cut the state wage bill by R160 billion over the next three years.

The SA Police and Allied Workers Union was threatening to down tools.

Cosatu’s Western Cape secretary Malvern de Bruyn said that government could find other ways to save money.

He said that public servants should be the last option.

"There are many other ways that they can use to cut the wage bill - the amount of bodyguards they have to protect themselves, they must cut that..."

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni was planning to reduce the public sector wage bill to cut back on government spending.

But the union said that the move would paralyse workers and their income.

The demands from unions came as slow economic growth has seen the country slip into a technical recession.