Deputy Finance Minister announces freeze of public-sector wages to rein in state spending

Deputy Minister of Finance Dr David Masondo. PHOTO:
JOHANNESBURG – Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo said on Monday that the government was planning to freeze wages across its operations to curb its escalating expenditure. 
Masondo told an investor conference in Cape Town that the government was left with very little room to manoeuvre to meet its R1.2 billion weekly spend, as revenue collection had all but plateaued due to the macroeconomic conditions in the country. He said the government was working on a co-ordinated plan to reduce its debt, pointing out that fiscal consolidation and the public sector wage bill would be the hallmarks of next year’s much-anticipated Budget. 
Masondo said the government needed to show that it was in control of the public purse. “We are working as we speak with our social and political partners to achieve savings in the wage bill, and we also have to look at wage freezes, starting with the public office bearers, top managers, executives at all levels of the state, if we are to seriously tackle our looming fiscal crisis,” Masondo said.