While the African National Congress (ANC)’s national working committee meeting with alliance leaders on Monday did not discuss the contentious public wage bill, Eyewitness News understands that President Cyril Ramaphosa faced the fury of unions at another meeting.
Union federation leaders took the president to task over National Treasury’s proposed cuts to the public service wage bill at the presidential working committee on the jobs summit, which gathered at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) on Monday.
Sources said proceedings at the Nedlac meeting – where labour, government, business, and community leaders gathered – became a battleground for labour as the constituency accused Ramaphosa of throwing public service workers under the bus.
Although government stressed that the cuts in the public service were among many other measures to curb public spending, unions representing civil society workers felt targeted.
They also complained that they were blindsided by government after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced the cuts that amount to R160 billion in three years, months before wage negotiations.
Ramaphosa is said to have turned another cheek with insiders explaining he didn’t resort to any justifications over the clumsy handling of the wage bill saga.
Meanwhile, the ANC’s national working committee discussed the state of South African Airways to no avail with sources saying even the governing party and its alliance partners appeared helpless about how the ailing airline could be rescued.