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How to Get Around the Impasse in Public Sector Wage Negotiations: Mzukisi Qobo Discusses Current Distrust

The Fall of the ANCMzukisi Qobo, co-author of The Fall of the ANC: What Next?, has written an article for the Rand Daily Mail in which he discusses “tortuously slow negotiations” between government and public service unions.

Qobo writes that the negotiations are characterised by a lack of both trust and clarity. He points to government’s recent whittling down of a signed and agreed upon wage offer, citing their overestimation of inflation as just cause.

Government and unions have many conflicting imperatives to consider during negotiations, but Qobo argues they urgently need to develop a foundation of solidarity.

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The impasse in the wage talks between the government and public service unions reflects broken trust between the government and its key stakeholders. This is in addition to the strain between the government and business over policy certainty, compounded by an increasingly gloomy macroeconomic environment.

Any strike by public sector workers would have a potentially disruptive effect on public service delivery and aggravate the macroeconomic condition.

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