According to the trade union Cosatu, the government wants to cut 30,000 government jobs and freeze salary increases for the next three years.

This is part of the state’s proposal to reduce its salary bill.

This represents 35.4% of national government spending.

Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa said in his State of the Nation address on Thursday that his administration is consulting with labor and other stakeholders on measures to cut spending on salaries and reduce wastage of state money.

There are approximately 1.3 million civil servants.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni will announce plans in his budget speech on February 26 to cut spending, Ramaphosa said.

“We are not going to accept these proposals,” said Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

“The government has the right to talk to its employees, but the government does not have the right to its own slaves.”