Government has denied reports that it is planning to reduce civil servants head count in order to decrease its growing wage bill.

Reports last week indicated that government is planning to lay off more than 30 000 public servants in the next three years as cost cutting measures.

The reported retrenchments are believed would reduce government salary bill by R20 billion.

But minister of Public Service and Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo has denied this. She says they are looking at initiatives for employees who are reaching retirement age rather than retrenchments to reduce the huge government wage bill.

Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says they are looking at retirement packages and these will be optional only for those who want to leave their jobs.

The government wage bill is reported to be almost full third of the annual budget at R587 billion.  She says there has not been any talks of restructuring nor job cuts in the public sector.

“The last thing that we would have in a climate of a jobless growth is looking at a large scale retrenchment. When you retrench people you make those positions redundant, and what we are looking as government is not a retrenchment package for anybody. We are looking at the wage bill as it is currently and we are also looking at issues to bringing in young people in the work environment.”

Unions against government’s plan

Meanwhile Labour unions have vowed to mobilise against government’s plan to retrench 30 000 public servants over the next three years.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and its affiliates said they would advise their members not to accept any exit package offers.

Spokesperson for the Department of Public Service and Administration  Mava Scott  and Labour law specialist at the Confederations of Employers in South Africa, TJ van der Merwe discuss the matter: