President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that government is currently engaging trade unions on measures to contain the public service wage bill.
Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) during a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday evening, President Ramaphosa said: “Efforts to reduce government spending, prioritise resources more effectively and improve the efficiency of our tax system are important but insufficient towards contributions of stabilising our public finances.”
However, the President said Finance Minister Tito Mboweni would outline a series of measures to reduce spending and improve its composition when he tables his medium-term budget policy statement in two weeks’ time.
President Ramaphosa further said this year’s SoNA is about inclusive growth. “This State of the Nation Address is therefore about inclusive growth.
“It is about the critical actions we take this year to build a capable state and place our economy on the path to recovery. This year, we fix the fundamentals. We pursue critical areas of growth.
“As we fix the fundamentals, as we deepen the reforms we have made, we pursue critical areas of inclusive growth. Achieving sustainability will ultimately require us to address structural challenges in the economy that raise the cost of living and doing business.
“Without growth, there will be no jobs, and without jobs, there will be no meaningful improvement in the lives of our people,” he said.
The President said it is about the critical actions we take this year to build a capable state and place our economy on the path to recovery.
Last year, Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu in his maiden Budget Vote Speech said the DPSA intends curtailing overall costs of running the public service.
Speaking in Parliament last year, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni also outlined a raft of cost-cutting measures that will see government save billions of rands in the public sector wage bill.
At the time, Mboweni said government has to significantly reduce expenditure in goods and services as well as transfers if it is to stabilise debt by 2022/23.