The Public Servants Association (PSA), remains concerned about the continuing economic instability facing the country and the threat of job losses following the release of the first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) on 4 June 2019.
The decline in the economy by 3.2%, is the biggest drop in ten years and is much higher than the 1.7% drop that was forecasted by many economists. The PSA that represents thousands of public-sector employees pointed out that the decline comes at a time when the unemployment rate has already increased to 27.6% with the youth unemployment rate at over 50%.
The Union pointed out that South African are still paying for the compounded effects of fraud and corruption has on the economy. With the government announcing an ambitious target for the next five years to bring down unemployment levels to 14%, the PSA is concerned about the absence of clear plans to turn the economy around and stem unemployment amidst fresh reports of large-scale job losses in the banking, mining and various other sectors.
The PSA supports calls by the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) for the new Minister of Employment and Labour to ensure that more is done to prevent retrenchments and for National Treasury to intervene and assist those sectors that are already under economic pressure.
The Public Servants Association (PSA) is appalled by the conduct of Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Ms Faith Mazibuko, as revealed by a leaked audio recording of a meeting between her and employees of the Department.
In the recording the MEC can be heard demanding for certain sporting facilities to be rolled out prior to the elections to influence election results. “The MEC displays a total disregard of the applicable tender processes and prescripts. She is further heard threatening to force senior staff to resign and making racial remarks to two senior staff members. This incident shows that given any opportunity beneficial to them, politically-aligned leadership will flout rules and regulations applicable in the Public Service for the procurement of services and use ordinary employees to do so,” said PSA General Manager, Ivan Fredericks.
The PSA pointed out that in the Nkandla debacle and various other recent incidents, workers were instructed to grant approvals that were not above board. “These workers were later blamed and brought to book for this while they, in fact, acted on instructions. The PSA commends the employees in this clip who refuse to flout regulations and persistently bringing this to the MEC’s attention. The Union encourages workers to stand their ground and follow proper procedure, regardless of undue pressure labelled as ‘instructions’. The conduct of the MEC in this instance exceeds the boundaries in various instances. The PSA calls for appropriate action to be taken against her,” said Mr Fredericks.