Tshwane Executive Mayor, Cilliers Brink, has stressed that the city is in a dire financial situation and won’t be able to pay the 5.4% wage increase for 2023.
The City of Tshwane says it has noted the ruling by the Bargaining Council to deny its exemption application and will prepare to approach the Labor Court to review the ruling.
The South African Local Bargaining Council has called on the city to pay workers’ increases with immediate effect.
However, Brink says if they pay these salary increases, Tshwane will be far worse off financially.
“If we had the money, we would have paid it at the outset – the council wouldn’t have budgeted for a 0% increase. We always anticipated that the decision to pay a 0% increase would be controversial. It would evoke resistance, and with SAMWU’s tradition of violence, intimidation, and criminality, this was always a possibility. It was not an easy decision. The decision the bargaining council had to make was whether the city could afford to pay the increases. It looked at last year’s salary budget and then concluded that since you underspent on salaries last year, you must have the money this year. Now, that’s not how it works. We believe the bargaining council misdirected itself.”
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