Tito Mboweni, who once served as labour minister under Nelson Mandela, has set himself up for a fight with the ANC’s trade union allies by announcing a huge  cut to the public-sector wage bill as part of efforts to fix government finances.

In a press conference before he delivered his second budget speech in Cape Town on Wednesday, the finance minister acknowledged as much, saying he was confident that “eventually the government and public-service workers would find each other”.

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