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Gauteng finance MEC says she won't fight with the unions over wage bill

Gauteng reckons it won't have to cut its civil servants' wage bill.
Gauteng reckons it won't have to cut its civil servants' wage bill.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Gauteng finance MEC Nomantu Ralehoko says her province will not have any problems with the unions  over the cutting of the wage bill.

Speaking to TimesLIVE just a few days after delivering her budget, Ralehoko said the province was not expecting any resistance from unions, unlike the national government.

She said she had instructed departments  not to cut employees' salaries and instead do a skills audit of their employees.

Finance minister Tito Mboweni angered unions last month when he announced that the state was looking at reducing the wage bill by R160.2bn.

“Our wage bill is at 55% and we want to cap it at 60%, we don’t want to move [beyond that] ... we don’t say we will not employ people.

“But those [posts] that are not funded, we are not going to do them,” said Ralehoko.

“We are encouraging the departments to do the audit of who is doing what, because in the departments there are people who have specific skills ... but [there is] a mismatch, or  misemployment in some departments,” she said.

She said she knew of employees who were working in ICT but were supposed to be doing other jobs.

“[We must not] employ for the sake of employing, but redirect people [to their relevant jobs],” she said.

Ralehoko said the audit should be led by the human resources units of each department.

“[They] must do the audit on who is doing what? Who is employed for what? And is that person doing the relevant work or misplaced in the department?” she said.

She said the exercise was to ensure that government doesn’t go outside to recruit people while there are misplaced employees in the department with the same skills.

Ralehoko said she had a good relationship with unions in the province  and that after she delivered her speech, there was no backlash from the unions.

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