NEVA MAKGETLA: Government more focused on reassuring lenders than helping workers
The main problem facing the public service is not labour costs, but the lack of clarity about mandate
A contradictory approach to workers and unions threads through turnaround efforts in the public sector. The government pleads with private investors to employ more people and increase pay for ordinary workers, but state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the public service prioritise cutting jobs and restraining pay increases.
Moreover, efforts to push through these plans have often been remarkably ham-fisted. Many seem designed more to reassure lenders and let managers show off their resolve than to achieve their stated objectives.