Cosatu takes aim at Ntshavheni for saying workers mustn't ask for wage increases

During an interview on Radio 702 on Monday, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said unions must stop demanding salary increases for workers so that government can offer relief to businesses hit hard by the lockdown.

FILE: Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/Eyewitness News.

DURBAN - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said President Cyril Ramaphosa must call Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni to order after she said workers must sacrifice their salary hikes during the lockdown.

During an interview on Radio 702 on Monday, Ntshavheni said unions must stop demanding salary increases for workers so that government could offer relief to businesses hit hard by the lockdown.

The union said she overstepped her mark and spoke outside her mandate when she made the statement.

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After President Cyril Ramaphosa moved the country up to level four of the lockdown on Sunday, Cosatu called on his administration to provide support to affected businesses. But the minister said there was no money for this.

“Demand for salary increases on the wage negotiations must be stopped and withdrawn, so that that money can be processed for those that do not have anything. For those who have a salary that is guaranteed will forgo salary increases,” she said.

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali said the minister was being disingenuous.

“For her to just to wake up and say workers must not ask for an increase, when they live on government money and travel on government cars. I mean it's just silly,” he said.

Ntshalintshali said government workers could not sacrifice their salaries, when they’ve seen unprecedented corruption during the lockdown.

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