Municipal wage bill increases by R4.2bn after wage settlement

2012-07-27 13:39

The 6.5% salary increase for municipal workers will add a further R4.2 billion to the municipal wage bill for this year alone, said South African Local Government Association (Salga) chief executive Xolile George.

The three-year wage hike agreement, signed in Pretoria today between Salga, the Independent Municipal and Allied Workers Union (Imatu) and the SA Municipal Workers Union has been hailed as the best move for ailing municipalities which received disappointing audit reports this year.

The settlement comes after three months of drawn-out wage negotiations which have seen municipal workers trashing streets in their demand for better salaries.

But Salga chairperson Thabo Manyoni praised the manner in which the negotiations were concluded without any violent strike action.

“The manner in which these negotiations were conducted without violence or intimidation can truly be commended as a sign of maturing engagements between the bargaining councils. Our commitment in ensuring that the interests of service delivery and citizens are uppermost is evident in the manner that wage settlements are concluded,” said Manyoni.

He said that while Samwu did not attend the ceremony to sign the wage agreement in Pretoria today, the union was fully behind it.

The agreement comes just a day after President Jacob Zuma also accepted the Independent Commission on the Remuneration of Public Office-Bearers’ recommendation of a 5.5% salary increase for public office-bearers, including ministers, deputy ministers, judges, traditional leaders, councillors, premiers and MECs.

Manyoni said the negotiations were concluded against the backdrop of a decreasing revenue base, rising debt owed by consumers to municipalities and an increasing number of municipalities in financial distress.

“This reality meant that negotiators faced an uphill battle to strike a balance between wage demands and the sustainability of municipalities,” said Manyoni.

Salga would also investigate the possibility of providing medical aid cover for all low-income earners who are fully funded by municipalities. It called for government to make it easier for municipalities to institute disciplinary measures against non-performing workers.

“As service delivery-focused entities, mediocrity and non-performance should not be matters that employees cannot be disciplined on and measures must be put in place to ensure fair disciplinary procedures, which are hindered by the current disciplinary procedure and code,” said Manyoni.

Imatu president Stanley Khoza welcomed the municipal wage agreement, adding that it would ensure that councils and municipal employees focused more on service delivery shortcomings in the next three years.

The wage agreements also means that public servants in provincial and national government departments are the only workers in the public sector that are yet to agree on a salary wage hike, as they are deadlocked and in conciliation talks at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council in Centurion.

According to union leaders who spoke on condition of anonymity, the wage negotiations in the public service were at a “critical” stage and there was a possibility that the negotiations could go to arbitration.

Public service unions are demanding a 7.9% wage increment, while government negotiators have offered 6.7% wage increase, which has been rejected.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.