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POPCRU statement on the 2022 budget speech

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) has noted the 2022 Budget speech as tabled by the Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana yesterday. 

As a union organising within the criminal justice cluster, we view his budget as nothing but a continued trend in the strict economic policy measures which have been implemented by his predecessor, with the aim of primarily reducing government spending in the public service by adhering to structural adjustment policies in the form of reforms as dictated to by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

It is common cause that the provision of loans always go with conditionalities, consequently with governments asking for loans typically agreeing to comprehensive structural adjustment measures which, by far have demonstrated to have failed the world over. Under the circumstances, this has and will continue to lead to excessive indebtedness, with a further need to attempt to restore our country’s fiscal capacity through new loans and further adjustment measures, further entrapping us in debt.

These have been demonstrated by the preconditioned structural adjustments for debt relief.  

After having unanimously decided to cut the SAPS budget by R26 billion over a three-year period and only adding R8,7 billion, reflecting an initial shortfall of R17,3 billion thus far, this while having committed to halving violent crimes within a decade, we are convinced that the government is intentionally weakening the criminal justice cluster. This latest stance sadly spells doom for the many public service employees in the criminal justice cluster and beyond, who continue to dedicate their services to the South African population while not having received salary increments for the past two years, continue working while understaffed, are killed daily without government interventions and are continuously demoralised over their deteriorating working conditions. 

While awaiting a Constitutional Court judgement on the outstanding PSCBC Resolution 1 of 2018, with specific reference to clause 3.3 which was the last leg of this resolution, which was presented at the Constitutional Court on the 20th of August 2021, a period spanning five months now, we had expected that the Minister’s budget would indicate on intention to resolve this long-standing debacle. Instead, he opted to refer to negotiations as opposed to figures without any indication of finances set aside for this purpose, and therefore clearly undermining any future negotiation prospects as it relates to salary increments. 

Further, an announcement has recently been made that managers within the public service will be getting salary increases and cash incentives, all while workers remain in the dark about their deserved increases.

POPCRU is of the view that the unfolding processes have been fruitless, while openly demonstrating the government’s overlooking of constitutionally recognised processes.

This is a clear indication yet that workers are on their own. It is for this reason that other forms of action need to be considered in taking workers’ interests forward. 

Issued by POPCRU on 24/02/2022

For more information contact Richard Mamabolo on 066 135 4349

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