Government denies it has plans to retrench 30,000 public servants

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has refuted media reports that government plans to retrench 30,000 public servants to cut costs.

This follows a Mail & Guardian on Friday (10 August) which stated that the process to retrench public servants would take place over three years and could save government up to R20 billion.

Speaking on Monday (13 August), Dlodlo said the media report was a misrepresentation of government’s programme.

She added that the reality is that president Cyril Ramaphosa’s call was to restructure government to enhance service delivery and make the public service more effective and efficient by removing superfluous functions and structures, and does not include an option of retrenchment as reported in the paper.

“(The report’s) intended objective is to create unnecessary and dangerous panic – not only in the public service but the entire country and it must be rejected with the contempt it deserves,” she said.

“The report is a complete misrepresentation of the government’s programme in relation to the macro organisation of the state and the initiatives proposed to manage the public sector wage bill.”

Dlodlo said there has been no evidence that suggests that the public service is over staffed.

However, she acknowledged that there have been plans to restructure the public service.

“I assure public servants that government does not have a plan to retrench public servants en masse as alleged by the Mail & Guardian newspaper.

“If people leave the public service, it will not be because of retrenchment, but it will be because of packages offered to them with no penalties,” Dlodlo said.

She added that government has been looking at decreasing the numbers but did not reach the conclusion of retrenching people.

She explained that government has been looking at ways of relieving the older generation to make way for the younger generation and was looking at other options such as reskilling.

Read: No bailout approved for state firms: South African Treasury

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Government denies it has plans to retrench 30,000 public servants