The Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Mr Senzo Mchunu, convened a dialogue with Labour Union Leaders last Friday 20 September 2019 in Irene.
Speaking at the event, Minister Mchunu said this was a very important day in the history of Government and labour unions, “as we begin a new chapter of robust and progressive engagements”.
The platform afforded government and the union an opportunity to engage in frank discussions about the state of the country and how to work together in dealing with challenges.
“The reality is that if South Africa is to be a country with a successful democracy and make progress, we need, political stability with an effective government, peace and social stability between government and labour and a growing economy.
“However, we are faced with serious financial challenges, which include the increasing debt and high unemployment rate that is sitting at 29 and puts the country in a financial constraint.
‘This calls for making hard decisions and sacrifices to help take the country forward,” the Minister said.
The goals of the National Development Plan (NDP) aims to build a capable, ethical and developmental state. The success of a developmental state depends on the active involvement of social partners.
“The approach of the 6th Administration therefore places emphasis on building a broad front for development that involves a strong relationship between government and labour, with the objective being to deliver quality services to citizens and restore confidence in Government.
Minister Mchunu said one of the priorities of the Public Service and Administration is to stabilize the public service, therefore a roadmap will be established jointly with Labour for Public Service engagements moving forward.
“Today marks the start of a long journey that we all need to traverse together and it requires patience and commitment,” he said.
The Minister called on Labour to be party to the process of stabilising the Public Service for improved service delivery during these challenging times and to work together with government to find stability and maximum service delivery.
Cosatu First Deputy-President,Mr Mike Shingange, said, “we are grateful that the employer see the importance of consultation and commits to always be accessible, we will however continue to engage the employer robustly and in a constructive way,” ,’ he said.
The event ended with a dinner attended by labour and government where both parties recommitted to the Pledge on the Public Service Charter.