Supra must not interfere with salaries – COSATU

Federation won't allow lapses of common sense to compromise livelihoods of public service workers

COSATU warns the Premier of the North West Province, Supra Mahumapelo against interfering with workers salaries

11 January 2017

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is deeply concerned by the reports coming from North West that the Premier of the Province, Supra Mahumapelo is planning to unilaterally cut salaries of public servants.

The federation warns the premier to desist from interfering in matters that are not in his domain. We will not allow him or anyone to undermine collective bargaining agreements and violate the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. While we strongly support fiscal prudence and belt tightening ,especially by political office bearers, we will never allow any unilateral fiddling and  interference with workers salaries by the provincial administration.

COSATU has long noted that Mr Mahumapelo likes to harass public servants, every time he craves some attention. We are still waiting for evidence that there are 36 000 ghost employees in the North West provincial administration as stridently claimed by him last year. We have not heard or seen the premier attacking racist farmers and employers like the Sun City Resort and Casino, who continue to harass and treat their workers like second class citizens in his province. This anti-workers mind-set from an ANC led provincial administration makes a mockery of the alliance  and will further alienate the ANC from the workers .

We will not allow these periodical lapses of common sense from this provincial administration to compromise the livelihoods of public service workers. The federation will not allow anyone including the premier to play cute with the principles that have stood the test of time and erode the hard-won victories of the workers

If the premier wants to save money, he should focus his energies on sorting out the mess of irregular expenditure that was discovered and exposed by the auditor- general last year, that amounted to R2,9 bn; and also cancel the ridiculous plans by his provincial administration to buy him a private jet.  He should also lead by example by volunteering to reduce and donate a portion of his salary to the poorest and most vulnerable citizens of the province.

Any attack directed at public service workers in the North West province by the administration will be regarded as a direct attack on COSATU ,and we promise to respond decisively .We will have no problem in shutting down the North West administration if it ill- treats public servants and sees them as easy targets  and scapegoats for the dire economic situation in the country.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 11 January 2017