3 July 2018

South Africa: 'We Are Paid Peanuts' Says Sassa Employee

Photo: Nompendulo Ngubane/GroundUp
About 100 SASSA employees affiliated to the Public Servants’ Association marched to the agency’s regional offices. These workers have rejected SASSA’s 7% payout.

Over 100 South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) employees in Pietermaritzburg downed tools on Monday over wage hike negotiations.

The employees, who are members of the Public Servants' Association (PSA), have been on strike for over a month. They are demanding a salary increase of up to 13% as well as a housing allowance, annual leave and safer working conditions.

SASSA met with other unions and agreed to give workers a 7% pay hike. This offer was rejected by PSA members who say they were not consulted.

On Monday, the group marched to SASSA's regional offices and handed over a memorandum listing their demands. Pearl Mthembu, SASSA regional executive manager, accepted the memorandum and promised to give it to Minister Susan Shabangu.

Hlengiwe Mbhele works at SASSA in Nongoma. She said, "We work under risky conditions. They are lying to the media and saying everything is well at SASSA. Nothing is well. We have raised the issue of safe working conditions. People are sick. Imagine serving a person with multi-drug-resistant TB."

"Everything has increased. Petrol is high. We can't provide for our families. We are paid peanuts," said Mbhele.

PSA member Zodwa Nene said, "They back paid us on Friday. That was the agreement with their unions. PSA was not consulted. We stand by the percent we demanded. SASSA must respect us."

Perfect Zulu, acting provincial manager of the PSA, said the union tabled their demands in February. "Ever since we started negotiations with SASSA, there has been no agreement. If SASSA does not meet the demands, the strike will continue. Employees will down tools until their grievances are attended to."

SASSA spokesperson Vusi Mahaye confirmed that workers were paid the agreed amount on Friday. "What is important is that the employees were paid. I'm not sure how much was given. Money was paid and they are refusing to take that offer."

More on This

South African Social Security Agency Assures Beneficiaries That Grants Will Be Paid

The Acting CEO of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), Mr Abraham Mahlangu, has noted the challenges… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 GroundUp. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.