Press Statement dated 10 August 2018

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has slammed the government’s reported plans to retrench 30 000 civil servants over the next three years in the face of severe staff shortages on the ground and preparation for a Presidential Jobs Summit in the first week of October this year.

FEDUSA believes such plans will only worsen the dire unemployment crisis in the country which rocketed to 27.2% according to the latest Statistics South Africa figures and severely undermine the whole Presidential Jobs Summit process, at the core of which is to create thousands of new jobs in order to address spiralling joblessness and to save rather than destroy existing jobs. Given that economists estimate that up to five or more people depend on the salary of one family member, nearly 200 000 people could be negatively affected by such a drastic measure in addition to the doubling or trebling of the workload of those civil servants who would be fortunate enough to keep their jobs at the same salary level.

Poor service delivery in many government institutions because of a shortage of staff and vacancies that are not filled for years is visibly widespread, fuelling violent service delivery across the nation and resulting in low staff morale triggered that is not helped by an constantly increasing workload and stagnant pay progression.

The union federation also believes that the state has grossly undermined public service trade unions and the spirit of collective bargaining by addressing the highly contested issue of the size of the public service outside of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Chamber where it should be legitimately ventilated.

Issued by Frank Nxumalo, Media and Research Officer, Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa)