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Warning issued to North West Premier

Warning issued to North West Premier

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) said North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo had no right to unilaterally cut the salaries of public servants in that province.

The union federation said the matter did not fall under Mahumapelo's jurisdiction, adding that the alleged interference on his part was unwarranted.

"The federation warns the Premier to desist from interfering in matters that are not in his domain," said COSATU national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

"We will not allow him or anyone to undermine collective bargaining agreements and violate the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. While we strongly support fiscal prudence and belt tightening , especially by political office bearers, we will never allow any unilateral fiddling and interference with workers salaries by the provincial administration," added Pamla.

COSATU said Mahumapelo already had a reputation, adding that this was an attention seeking measure on his part, adding that he was seeking that attention at the expense of workers.

"We are still waiting for evidence that there are 36 000 ghost employees in the North West provincial administration as stridently claimed by him last year. We have not heard or seen the Premier attacking racist farmers and employers like the Sun City Resort and Casino, who continue to harass and treat their workers like second class citizens in his province. This anti-workers mind-set from an ANC led provincial administration makes a mockery of the alliance and will further alienate the ANC from the workers," added Pamla.

Pamla said that if cost saving measures were to be implemented, then the first to deal with the consequences are those who are in the administration themselves. He said workers should not bare the brunt of a poor administration.

"If the Premier wants to save money, he should focus his energies on sorting out the mess of irregular expenditure that was discovered and exposed by the auditor-general last year, that amounted to R2,9-billion, and also cancel the ridiculous plans by his provincial administration to buy him a private jet. He should also lead by example by volunteering to reduce and donate a portion of his salary to the poorest and most vulnerable citizens of the province.

"Any attack directed at public service workers in the North West province by the administration will be regarded as a direct attack on COSATU ,and we promise to respond decisively .We will have no problem in shutting down the North West administration if it ill- treats public servants and sees them as easy targets and scapegoats for the dire economic situation in the country."

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