Carol Paton Writer at Large

Thousands of public sector workers over the age of 60 will be offered voluntary retrenchment as part of an effort by the government to cut its salary bill. The decision to offer voluntary severance packages — the first such offer in 20 years — follows the conclusion of a new three-year wage agreement last week that bust the budget by about R30bn. The consequence of this, said the Department of Public Service and Administration in a statement, was that measures to contain costs had to be taken. These would include: encouraging early retirement by topping up pension funds for those who take the package; reviewing the government’s performance management and incentive systems; and more effective management of allowances. The department said on Wednesday that it was too early to say how many jobs would be affected. It can be assumed though that if the savings target is R30bn over the next three years, the government would need to cut salaries by R10bn a year. This would imply scaling dow...

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