Cape Town - Acting Public Service and Administration Minister Naledi Pandor has, on behalf of the mandate committee, requested more time from the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) for further consultations on the public service wage negotiations currently under way, the department said on Sunday.
The mandate committee consists of the ministers of finance, defence, health, basic education, justice and correctional services, police, co-operative governance and traditional affairs, labour, state security, higher education and training, home affairs, planning, monitoring, and evaluation, and social development.
Following a number of developments in the negotiating chamber and the concerns raised by the negotiating parties, the mandate committee had decided to broaden its consultation within government and thus asked the council to grant it more time to finalise its internal processes before any new round of negotiation could commence.
“We understand the urgency of the situation and the need to conclude these talks timeously, but we also want to ensure that we package a deal that is workable and sustainable for both government, labour, and the South African public in general,” Pandor said.
She reiterated the call for all parties to commit to the process and work towards an acceptable outcome for all. “As government, we would like to assure all stakeholders that we are committed to this process and thus appeal to all players concerned to focus their energies towards a sustainable outcome of the talks,” she said.
To allow for this thorough process of consultation, the mandate committee had asked that council should reconvene on May 3 to take the process forward. Pandor appealed to all public servants to be patient with the process and allow the parties time to package a workable and sustainable deal for all parties concerned.
The committee also noted the application for conciliation that was submitted by the Public Servants' Association (PSA) to the council, which gave the parties a period of 30 days to conclude the talks about public service wage issues.
“We note the application by the PSA and hope that we can still find each other through this conciliation process; what is important is that we must fashion a deal that works for all of us,” Pandor said.
African News Agency/ANA