'Public servants must be reasonable'

Public servants must be reasonable in their wage demands, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has told East Coast Radio.

In a report on the radio station’s website, Gordhan said that public servants needed to remember that government was under pressure to meet other demands as well.

“We are still recovering from the recession. Our tax revenue hasn’t gone back to where it was in 2008.

“We have lots of pressures—both to ensure that public servants are paid reasonably, but also to deliver important services like health and education and social welfare, and increase our investment in infrastructure in South Africa. So we hope that the negotiations will eventually work towards a positive end, and let’s give that a chance.”

Gordhan’s comments came as wage talks with public servants deadlocked on Friday.

The Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the Independent Labour Caucus have demanded a 9% pay rise, while government has offered 5,2%.—I-Net Bridge

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