Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. Picture: THE TIMES /ALON SKUY
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali. Picture: THE TIMES /ALON SKUY

The ANC’s national working committee (NWC) is expected to meet on Monday where it is likely to discuss the proposed cut to the public sector pay bill, as announced in finance minister Tito Mboweni’s budget.

Alliance partners Cosatu and the SA Communist Party have been invited to attend the meeting.  

Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali confirmed to Business Day that the trade union federation was invited to attend, but said as far as it knew the pay issue would not be discussed.

Mboweni announced last week that the government wanted to slash total public pay by R160.2bn over the next three years.

That would entail an immediate reopening of the three-year pay agreement in force and a settlement at the prevailing increase in the consumer price index (CPI) minus three percentage points for 2020. This is a substantial reduction on what workers would otherwise have received on April 1, which for most employees would have included a cost-of-living adjustment of inflation plus half a percentage point, as well as notch increases of at least another point.

Cosatu has already rejected the proposal, saying it was a “declaration of war”. 

A delegation of the ad hoc committee to initiate and introduce legislation amending section 25 of the constitution to allow for  expropriation of land without compensation kick-started its series of public hearings in two provinces, Mpumalanga and Free State. It will continue to the North West and KwaZulu-Natal from Thursday until Sunday.

The National Assembly will this week debate coronavirus and SA's readiness to deal with it.

Last week, it was confirmed that two South Africans  working on the Princess Diamond cruise ship coronavirus had been infected.

Twelve SA crew members were working on the ship when it was affected by the virus, known as Covid-19.

This came as President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the repatriation of SA citizens from Wuhan, China, epicentre of the outbreak.

The South Africans have been confined to Wuhan since mid-January after Chinese authorities imposed strict quarantine to try to contain the spread of the virus. It was estimated 199 South Africans were in Wuhan, and 151 of them had expressed a desire to be repatriated, the president said last week. They would be quarantined for 21 days, he said, but did not disclose the location nor when they would arrive.

On Tuesday, the financial and fiscal commission will brief parliament’s four finance and appropriations committees on the budget.

The National Prosecuting Authority, which was allocated additional money in the 2020 budget to help bolster the fight against corruption, will on Wednesday brief parliament’s justice committee. On the same day, the health department will briefing the health committee on the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot districts evaluation report.

On Tuesday, there will be a briefing by the parliamentary budget office and the Financial and Fiscal Commission on the 2020 budget to the joint meeting of the standing committee on finance, standing committee on appropriations, select committee on finance and select committee on appropriations.