We are not a bloated government – Ayanda Dlodlo

Minister of Public Service and Adminsitration Ayanda Dlodlo.
File image.

Minister of Public Service and Adminsitration Ayanda Dlodlo. File image.

An early retirement program will not mean a ‘brain drain’ to any sector, but an opportunity for the government to recruit more young people.

Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has put smiles on some ANC members’ faces after she confirmed that the public service would not be retrenching employees anytime soon.

Dlodlo appeared on both the SABC and eNCA on Friday morning to discuss the public sector wage bill after Wednesday’s budget speech by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. She defied public criticism that the public service is bloated, saying Mboweni agreed that government had a high wage bill issue but not a “bloated” public service one.

“We must manage the high wage bill, and granting early retirement to those who request it is one of the options,” she said in a tweet.

The ANC has been slated by the Democratic Alliance, who claimed government was bloated with ANC deployees not adding value, and it urgently needed intervention. DA leader Mmusi Maimane once said the country’s finances were in trouble because the ANC had built a bloated state.

“We need fundamental reform. Sell SAA, open Eskom up for competition by allowing other power producers, reduce cabinet, focus on city-led economic development. We need reform,” Maimane tweeted in July last year.

The early retirement option would mean government has space to recruit young people into the public service. This meant government would also tackle the challenge of high youth unemployment.

“The young people will come in at lower levels, which will lead to a lower wage bill.”

The early retirement program would be very well managed, according to Dlodlo, and would not lead to “a brain drain”, meaning a request for early retirement would be considered with due regard given to the skill needs of each department. Scarce skills such as doctors and teachers would not be lost.

She said innovative ways were currently being considered to improve service and contain salary budgets.

(Compiled by Gopolang Chawane)

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