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Government disputes public sector job cuts report

Public Service and Administration spokesperson Mava Scott says the idea that 30,000 jobs will be cut over the next three years in the public sector is creating unnecessary panic.

FILE: Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Public Service and Administration has moved to clarify that reports which suggest the government will be cutting 30,000 jobs in the public sector are misleading and damaging.

It was reported in the Mail & Guardian that a senior government official had said the implementation of voluntary severance packages to reduce the public-sector wage bill had failed, and that the government was forced to opt for “employer-initiated” packages.

It’s understood these packages would affect senior employees.

But the department says there is no report or document to this effect.

Public Service and Administration spokesperson Mava Scott says the idea that 30,000 jobs will be cut over the next three years in the public sector is creating unnecessary panic.

Scott says its true there are debates surrounding the escalating public wage bill.

“As the state engages in a debate, it has not come to a point where it says 10, 15 or 20 people must leave the public sector. I don’t think that’s the direction the state has taken.”

Scott says this won’t be a clumsy process.

“The issue of job losses impact on the livelihoods of people, and that’s a very sensitive subject in South Africa.”

At the same time, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union says it will meet with other public-sector unions and the state to discuss the matter.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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