Nehawu president Michael Makwayiba has announced that the public sector strike was over, even though no deal had been signed with the government. Photo: Independent Newspapers

The Congress of SA Trade Unions on Wednesday announced that the public sector strike was over, even though no deal had been signed with the government.

At a press conference on Wednesday evening in Centurion, National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) president Michael Makwayiba said that seven of the eight Cosatu unions had accepted the government’s offer of a 7.5 percent wage increase and an R800 housing allowance.

“Today I think is the final closure of the strike. We do think that at the end of the day we will reach the 50 percent,” he said.

Shortly before the conference, Independent Labour Caucus (ILC) spokesperson Chris Klopper said that one of the ILC unions had accepted the offer, bringing the total to about 45 percent of workers accepting it.

He said that by next Tuesday he believed that another 36 percent of the ILC union leadership would have received a mandate from their members.

Makwayiba said he did not believe the government would now withdraw its offer until Tuesday.

“We must appreciate the strike this year was a long protracted strike. We had to be sure that we reach every union,” said Makwayiba.

The unions had asked for extra time to consider government's final offer, after which they would come back formally with a response.

The unions suspended their four week strike early in September to allow union members time to consider the government’s offer.

Sapa