MboweniCity Press reports that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s plan to cut SA’s bloated civil service by encouraging officials to retire early appears to have failed miserably.  

Mboweni’s target was for the civil service to shed 30,000 employees.  This he hoped to achieve by encouraging them to take early retirement without them losing any of their pension benefits.  State officials can retire from 55, but normally they are discouraged from doing so by subtracting 0.33% per month from their pension benefits.  In terms of Mboweni’s offer, this penalty fell away and a retiring official’s pension would only be calculated on the basis of their years of service.  Civil servants between the ages of 55 and 60 had until 30 September to apply for the offer.  But apparently fewer than 3,000 officials in SA’s three biggest provinces applied before the deadline.  There were only 1,452 applicants in KwaZulu-Natal, 904 in Gauteng and 525 in the Western Cape, adding up to a total of 2,881.  All the teacher unions had advised their members not to retire early.  Sadtu said the intellectual capital of the education sector could be “wiped out” if experienced teachers left.  Naptosa labelled it a “recipe for poverty”.


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