PSA plans for ‘Day of Rage’, indefinite strike

Trade union federation the Public Servants Association (PSA), which has 230 000 members, has promised public protest and indefinite strikes — including at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) — over longstanding failed wage negotiations.

The PSA said it would begin a fresh round of strike action on Monday June 11, starting with protests it is calling a “Day of Rage”.

The federation said that it had lodged a notice to strike.

Letsatsi Modise, a director responsible for collective bargaining within the department of public service and administation, confirmed the department had received a strike notice from the PSA. He said that, in the department’s view, the strike would be unprotected and there would be consequences for members who participated.

PSA deputy general secretary Tahir Maepa told Fin24 it was untrue that the strike was illegal.


The PSA wants a 12% increase across the board for its members, Maepa said on Wednesday. This is less that the wage offer being proposed by government, and negotiations have stalled. Maepa said the federation didn’t want to accept an offer that was “worse than the offer we had in the past”.

Strike action is also looming at Sassa.

The PSA first announced that strikes by its almost 5 000 Sassa members were on the cards after an agreement could not be reached on salary increases for employees.

“The PSA, as a professional and responsible union, is aware that the strike will affect the most vulnerable members of society and hence opted to delay serving the strike notice to afford SASSA a further opportunity to table its offer.

“The PSA also attempted on several occasions to have an audience with the Minister of Social Development to, among other [things], address SASSA’s failure to conclude on wage negotiations,” said PSA general manager Ivan Fredericks.

‘Jacob Zuma will not have to worry’

Maepa told Fin24 on Wednesday that the federation’s intention was not to shut down essential services such as hospitals or police services. However, it wanted to “disrupt”.

“The strike will be indefinite,” he said. “It will be disruptive. When we are on strike, Jacob Zuma does not have to worry that he will be prosecuted, because there will be nobody in the courts.”

“We are expecting to close down all the border gates of this country,” he added. “We are closing down the department of water affairs, where we have the majority.

The strike would have significant economic costs, Maepa warned. “Our disruption is going to hit where it matters most.” — Fin24

*Additional reporting by Vukile Nsibande

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Marelise van der Merwe
Marelise Van Der Merwe
Marelise van der Merwe and Daily Maverick grew up together, so her past life increasingly resembles a speck in the rearview mirror. She vaguely recalls writing, editing, teaching and researching, before joining the Daily Maverick team as Production Editor. She spent a few years keeping vampire hours in order to bring you each shiny new edition (you're welcome) before venturing into the daylight to write features. She still blinks in the sunlight.

Related stories

State’s wage freeze sparks apoplexy

Public sector unions have cried foul over the government’s plan to freeze wages for three years and have vowed to fight back.

Pillar to post office

If President Cyril Ramaphosa’s crackdown on corruption is to succeed, new rules for lobbying and tenders need to be implemented

Auditor general points to the state’s flaws enabling Covid-19 graft

AG Kimi Makwetu’s ‘real-time’ audit of contracts and relief schemes indicate ‘a higher risk of fraud and abuse of funds’

Basic income grant on the cards as Covid-19 threat intensifies

The pandemic has triggered a global economic crisis that will leave many South Africans without income security

Sassa disses disability grant applicants

Towards the end of level four of the lockdown, Sassa offices reopened for applications for old age pensions and childcare and foster care grants, but not for disability grants

Real relief requires the reform of state recruitment

Covid-19 has exposed, among a host of other things, the glaring gaps that appear when the wrong people have been put in the job
Advertising

Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Frank Chikane on the rainbow where colours never...

Reverend Frank Chikane has just completed six years as the chairperson of the Kagiso Trust. He speaks about corruption, his children’s views and how churches can be mobilised

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

More top stories

War of words at Zondo commission: ‘Grow up Mr Gordhan,...

The cross-examination of the public enterprises minister by Tom Moyane’s lawyers at the state capture inquiry went on well into overtime on Monday evening

‘Where the governments see statistics, I see the faces of...

Yvette Raphael describes herself as a ‘professional protester, sjambok feminist and hater of trash’. Government officials would likely refer to her as ‘a rebel’. She’s fought for equality her entire life, she says. And she’s scared of no one

Covid-19 stems ‘white’ gold rush

The pandemic hit abalone farmers fast and hard. Prices have dropped and backers appear to be losing their appetite for investing in the delicacy

Al-Shabab’s terror in Mozambique

Amid reports of brutal, indiscriminate slaughter, civilians bear the brunt as villages are abandoned and the number of refugees nears half a million
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…