COSATU welcomes the National Assembly’s passage of the Public Service and Administration Amendment Bills

27 February 2024

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the National Assembly’s passage of the Public Administration Management Amendment (PAMA) and the Public Service Amendment  (PSA) Bills this afternoon.  We look forward to their passage by the National Council of Provinces and enactment into law.

The Federation was deeply concerned about some provisions contained in the initial drafts of the Bills.  We are pleased that after robust and constructive engagements at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC), Nedlac and Parliament, working with government, we were able to address and resolve workers’ legitimate concerns and ensure Parliament could then pass Bills which will help build a capacitated developmental state.

The Federation welcomes progressive provisions in the Bills that will:


  • Respect the rights of workers and ensure that any transfers that take place within the public service and sector must be consensual and not have a negative impact upon their conditions of service.
  • Work towards removing unjustifiable conditions of service that exist within the public service as part of reducing the wage gap.
  • Not interfere with the separate spheres of governments and collective agreements reached between the employers and labour in local government, public sector entities and State-Owned Enterprises.  This is key to strengthening collective bargaining and boosting labour market stability.
  • Provide clarity with regards to Cabinet coordination of government’s engagements at the PSCBC on wage negotiations.  This will help ensure efficient negotiations and that the employer honours collective agreements reached in the PSCBC.
  • Prohibit persons receiving remuneration from government from doing business with the state as part of efforts to tackle the cancers of corruption weakening service delivery.

PSA Bill

  • Prohibit the heads of public service institutions and the executive management reporting directly to them from holding office in a political party.  We are pleased with this narrow limitation of political rights to a specific senior category of persons and that a proposal to extend this to all 1.2 million public service and sector workers was reversed.  This would have undermined workers’ constitutional rights.  The Bill achieves the correct balance and a fair compromise.
  • Provide a fair process to recover over payments to employees that takes into account employees’ financial circumstances and ensures funds are recovered over a reasonable timeframe.

COSATU is pleased its negotiations with government at the PSCBC, Nedlac and Parliament to address workers’ fears were successful and Parliament is now able to pass Bills that will protect workers’ rights, enhance the developmental state and strengthen the fight against corruption.  These engagements show the benefits of having a government led by the African National Congress that values social dialogue between government and labour and is willing to compromise for the benefit of workers and society.

Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687