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Trade unions and municipal bosses are heading for a showdown after the SA Local Government Association (Salga), the body representing the 257 municipalities, called for financially distressed municipalities to cut wages in real terms and freeze other perks linked to wage hikes.

Salga has proposed a 2.8% wage increase for 2021/2022, below the 2.9% inflation rate recorded in February and the 4.3% average the Reserve Bank expects for 2021. Most municipalities in July 2020 started to implement a multiyear agreement that raised wages by 6.25% a year, which some of them had not budgeted for. The Treasury warned it would compromise their fiscal framework and service delivery...

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