SOUTH Africa’s biggest public sector union, Nehawu, has taken the first step in what is bound to be a drawn-out battle with Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene.
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union, staunch supporters of President Jacob Zuma, has taken issue with Nene’s recent medium-term budget policy statement on plans for the public service, saying it was not consistent with the radical economic policies suggested at the ANC’s Mangaung conference in 2012.
Nehawu general secretary Bereng Soke said yesterday: “The alliance summit and Mangaung [conference] in 2012 called for a shift away from the current macroeconomic framework as part of the general thrust of forging a radical second phase. Nehawu is concerned … government is now steaming ahead with macroeconomic policies.”
In his budget speech, Nene said the government planned to reduce the budget ceiling by R25-billion.
Nehawu has called on Nene to be clear on the sale of non-core assets of state companies and the tax measures to increase revenue. – Siviwe Feketha