EWN writes that the Western Cape government has taken the public wage agreement fight to National Treasury, by declaring a dispute with national government to secure funding for the public sector salary increases. The announcement was made by Finance MEC Mireille Wenger during the province’s Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in the legislature on Tuesday. Wenger said that the effects of the wage increase meant a hike in the Western Cape’s wage bill of R2.9 billion. She said that the province simply could not afford this and diverting funds from other crucial departments would be detrimental to service delivery.

“The national government concluded the wage deal after our budgets for the year were passed. The outcome of the wage deal and the increases were, however, implemented centrally on the payroll system. So, provinces were incurring this expenditure with no certainty on how this will be funded.” Premier Alan Winde said that they’d raised numerous objections to national government before, and if this matter was not resolved before next week Wednesday, they’d be forced to go to court.

“This is a formal process within the regulatory environment that says we’re now officially declaring this dispute. We’ve put the national government on terms to say that we need to have our engagement before the 6th of December, otherwise we will end up in court to solve this issue.”

by Ntuthuzelo Nene 

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