SA’s public servants are among the best paid in the world when measured against the size of the economy.

Who says this?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). An intergovernmental organisation of 37 member countries, most of them among the world’s wealthier nations. It undertakes a survey of the economy of member and associated states every two to three years and makes recommendations for growth and development. Its newest report on SA was published on Friday 31 July 2020.

OECD’s views are not news to the heavily taxed private-sector taxpayers in SA who also know that nothing is likely to happen about it either:

  1. a central contributor to the country’s deteriorating fiscal picture. It recommends three years of below-inflation wage increases for public servants.
  2. reduce spending and debt and
  3. rebalance public finances towards greater investment.
  4. linking wage increases to productivity and performance, as is done in the Nordic countries.

Specific interventions that are urgently needed were identified as:

  1. need to restore fiscal sustainability by arresting the increase of the ratio of debt to GDP
  2. addressing public sector wage bill growth, a second pressing issue for sustainability
  3. the cost of state-owned enterprises and the drag that these have been on competitiveness and growth.

Perhaps our only hope is for the World Bank and IMF to attach conditions to future loan funding made available to the ANC-led government.

This is regrettably still several years away.