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Services at hospitals and government offices in South Africa resumes

Pretoria, Sep 11 (Calcutta Tube) Services at hospitals and government offices in South Africa resumed as public sector employees, striking over pay hike for the past 20 days, returned to work Tuesday after an agreement to continue talks with the government.

‘Everything is going well and patients are also coming in and being helped, the focus will now be on the nightshift workers. Everything should be fully stabilised tomorrow,’ Health Department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe told BuaNews.

Public servants, including health staff and teachers unions walked off their work places Aug 18 demanding better wages and an increase in housing allowance.

Trade unions agreed Monday that public servants would return to work while consultation on government’s last wage offer was being finalised.

Government has offered a 7.5 percent salary increment and a R800 monthly housing allowance. Unions have demanded an 8.6 percent increase and a R1000 housing allowance.

Meanwhile, Public Service and Administration Minister, Richard Baloyi, has welcomed the suspension of the strike by trade unions.

‘In the spirit of working together, we urge those who are returning to the workplace to ensure that we deliver the services that are so sorely needed by all communities across our country,’ Baloyi said in a statement.

He said the government was optimistic that a final position of the unions will soon remove the cloud of doubt and uncertainty.

‘Consultations with labour will continue as government and South Africans at large want to see this impasse resolved as quickly as possible so that service delivery can be accelerated,’ the minister said.

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