Cape Town – Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni has urged all parties that they should avoid a public sector strike at all costs after unions rejected his proposal to freeze the salaries for the workers.
Mboweni told the joint committees on finance on Thursday that the strike in the public sector would worsen the situation.
However, he said the proposal to freeze the salaries for public servants stands and that politicians should take a pay cut as well.
"We should try and avoid the public servants' strike at all costs, we must try and avoid that. But whatever we do must not break the fiscal framework.
’’That we can't do at all. Otherwise we are on a slippery road and we are all going to regret it because there will be nothing for us," said Mboweni.
He said Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu would engage with the unions over the matter.
But the unions would have none of it after Mboweni announced that they wanted to freeze their salaries for the next few years.
In his medium-term Budget address, Mboweni was projecting to cut the wage for billions of rand for the next four years.
Unions said they were still fighting against the government over the implementation of the last leg of the 2018 wage agreement.
They said the decision to freeze the salaries of public servants would be fought.
Mboweni said on Thursday that the country was in a financial crisis and they have to cut spending as one of the measures to stabilise debt.
The country has seen debt rising exponentially in the last few years and Mboweni warned that if it was not addressed it would seriously affect the economy.