Figures released by Statistics South Africa this week showed third-quarter gross domestic product growth easing to 1.2%. Government services is the second-largest sector after the finance, real estate and business services sector.
Although mining and quarrying contracted by 12.7% in the third quarter and growth slowed in industries such as agriculture and manufacturing, general government services grew from 1.8% in the first quarter to 2.7% in the third quarter.
State wage increases continue to exceed inflation and have helped to address inequality, because 40% of the country's high-earning black workers are government employees.
However, analysts continue to warn of an unsustainable wage bill and foreign investors are observing this trend closely.