25 September 2023

SOUTH AFRICA: Early retirement to save PS funds

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In the wake of a public sector pay settlement that blew a SAR30 billion (A$3 billion) hole in the nation’a budget, the South African Department of Public Service and Administration is offering thousands of older workers early retirement.

The PS employees, all over the age of 60, will be asked to accept voluntary severance packages — the first such offer in 20 years — after the conclusion of the new three-year wage agreement.

The Department said measures had to be taken to contain costs and workers who take the package will have their pension funds topped up.

It said it was also reviewing the Government’s performance management and incentive systems, while there would be a more effective management of allowances.

The Department said it was too early to say how many jobs would be affected, however, journalists estimated that to make enough savings to fill the budget hole thousands of workers would have to go.

Meanwhile, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has launched an investigation into the Province of Gauteng’s Public Service, saying it was concerned about “the non-performance of some Departments”.

It singled out Gauteng’s Health Department, which, it alleged, had failed to spend SAR559 million (A$55.6 million) set aside for capital assets in the past financial year.

Provincial Commissioner at the PSC, Michael Seloane said a questionnaire had been circulated to all Departments.

“Our report will cover ethics, integrity, human resource management, labour relations and access to information, among others,” Mr Seloane said.

“Overspending and underspending are bad because such practices lead to lack of service delivery.”

Pretoria, 15 June 2018

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