DENOSA statement on the continued reckless threats to cut public servants’ wages and incentives

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) notes with great concern the grand-standing and threats of cutting public servants’ salaries, incentives and performance bonuses by the government at the time when nurses are doing the work of more than two nurses due to severe shortage of staff in many facilities.

DENOSA friendly cautions both the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Senzo Mchunu, and Director-General at Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, not to be reckless in throwing wild threats of cutting salaries of public servants, phasing out performance bonuses and doing away with key staff retention incentives like Occupation-Specific Dispensation (OSD), which were seriously negotiated, due to current economic difficulties and without following the established employer-labour engagement platforms.

Both the Minister and Director-General told City Press and Sunday Times newspapers recently of their intentions to effect these changes, which is a direct undermining of the collective bargaining agreement starting from the top. Not only does this recklessness send a message of the poor commitment of government in keeping workers, but it may trigger wild unrest across the public service chain as it instigates chaos.

These threats are being made at the time when nurses in many health facilities do the work of two or more other nurses who are not hired, and now the little that keeps them in the public sector is threated to be reduced or removed by the government. 

Workers are not going to allow themselves to be used as sacrificial lambs when monies that could have assisted the state to honour its financial obligation from state-owned entities were allowed to be siphoned off in dubious means. Already, the retirement savings of public servants have been used to bail out these, excuse the pun, bloodied SOEs!      

Furthermore, this recklessness may cost the country more skilled professionals. Occupation-Specific Dispensation (OSD) rewards skilled professionals the longer they stay in government employment so that they are not lost to either overseas or to the private sector due to salary competitiveness. OSD for nurses should have been reviewed more than seven years ago, but it has not.

And committed nurses continue to give their all to the public service. But all they get is a thank you like this! 

DENOSA can’t wait to reject this ridiculous and insensitive proposal at the Public Sector Coordinated Bargaining Council (PSCBC) whenever it is tabled, if it will ever be tabled. 


Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA)

For more information, contact:

Cassim Lekhoathi, Acting General Secretary

Mobile: 082 328 9671

Simon Hlungwani, DENOSA President

Mobile: 082 328 9635