A man counts Zimbabwean dollar notes and coins next to a ten US dollar note on the streets of Harare. Picture: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP

Harare - Zimbabwean civil servants have provisionally accepted a 76 percent cost of living salary adjustment offered by the government with effect from August 1 while negotiations for higher wages continue, state media reported Wednesday. 

The Herald newspaper reported Wednesday that the least-paid worker will now earn 1 023 Zimbabwe dollars (about R4300) per month, up from 582 dollars (R2400) per month. 

The decision to accept the government offer followed a meeting between the civil servants' umbrella representative body, the Apex Council, and government representatives led by Secretary for Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Simon Masanga at a National Joint Negotiating Council meeting on Tuesday. 

Apex Council chairperson Cecilia Alexander said that a cost of living adjustment of the total package would be implemented from beginning of August. 

Alexander said they had provisionally agreed to the offer while they continued with negotiations. 

"It must be reiterated that this is a provisional agreement meant first and foremost to allow the government to cushion its impoverished civil servants." she said. "Our substantive demand of 4 750 dollars (about R20 000), which is benchmarked against the interbank rate, still stands and negotiations still continue towards that end," said Alexander. 

The government last week offered the 76 percent cost of living adjustment which the Apex Council neither rejected nor accepted but went back to consult its members and on Tuesday gave the feedback that sealed the deal. 

However, teachers on Monday rejected the offer, insisting that the employer pays them nothing more than 4 600 Zimbabwe dollars per month, which the government says it cannot afford. 

Xinhua