South Africa: Civil Servants Strike Demanding Double-digit Wage Increase

South Africa’s public sector workers have declared Tuesday a National Day of Action and marched to the National Treasury in Pretoria and in the country’s other eight provinces, demanding a double-digit wage increase.

The seven-day ultimatum given to the government by the public sector has officially lapsed, according to eNCA News.

This follows a deadlock in wage negotiations between trade unions and the state.

The government is offering a 3 per cent pay hike, but the public sector unions are demanding 10 per cent.

Tuesday’s march follows the 10 November one organised by the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) – which represents 245 000 civil servants. Union officials said the march failed to spur the government into action.

The largest trade union federation in the country, COSATU, and other federations told a news conference on 17 November 2022 that they would continue to protest until the government improves its 3% salary increase offer, according to Reuters.

Wage negotiations between unions and the government collapsed in early October, with the government subsequently saying it would unilaterally implement the 3% increase outlined in October’s mid-term budget.

If the marches mushroom into a full-blown public sector strike it would be the first major one since 2010, potentially disrupting critical government services in places like hospitals and border posts.

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