A one-off cash payment or bonus and a year-long pension holiday are part of a new settlement the government put to public servants this week as it moves to resolve the impasse with labour over the contentious third leg of the 2018 wage deal.

The wage bill is the single most expensive item in the national budget and the widening deficit means the state has to urgently curb spending. It is among the main reasons cited by ratings agencies for further downgrading SA’s investment ratings two weeks ago...

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