South African public sector workers have called off their four-week pay strike. It comes after the government put an improved deal of 7.5 percent and extra money for housing on the table. The offer was initially rejected by workers, but union leaders want more time to explain the details to members.
Strikers have been demanding a pay rise of 8.6 percent, twice the inflation rate, and a 1,000 rand
per month housing allowance.
The action by some 1.3 million workers has badly affected schools, hospitals and the judiciary. It has also cost the South African economy the equivalent of several million euros a day. Any agreement will force the government to find new funds – just as it struggles to bring down a deficit totalling 6.7 percent of GDP.