The Secretary General of the Amalgamated Central Government Workers Union, Johnson Motshwarakgole, has confirmed that government has written to 1,850 of their members informing them of a decision to retrench them.
Motshwarakgole said such members are mainly Council workers and those in the Water Affairs Department.
Asked if the letters say ‘retrenchment’ or if they say ‘redeployment’, as the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mokweetsi Masisi, is saying, Motshwarakgole said, “No, it is not true that they are being redeployed; they are being retrenched as they have not been offered any new posts by the government.”
Motshwarakgole says that they wish for the government to come out clean on this and tell the nation that they are retrenching.
“They should stop hiding behind the word ‘redeployment’ and tell the nation that they are retrenching people. That will be the only fair thing to do,” he said, adding that they are surprised that it is only workers from the Councils and Water Affairs who have been targeted.
“We feel this should be across the board; it should affect all government employees not only of the two institutions,” he stressed.
Asked to comment on the issue, Masisi said that he could not comment or confirm that some people had already received such letters. He said he had not yet received the information. However, he confirmed that they have a policy to redeploy workers whenever they feel such a move is necessary.
”Redeployment has always been government policy; if there was such a move, I would not be surprised,” he said. He denied that instead of being redeployed, people were being retrenched.
“We are not about to start retrenchment of workers anytime soon,” he said, and further denied that this could be punishment for those who had gone on strike last year.
“That cannot be true,” he said.