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”.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now