The Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) has condemned the Gauteng government’s decision to terminate 5 500 contracts of the Expanded Public Works Programme’s (EPWP) workers.
In a statement on Tuesday, 10 March 2020, the Public Servants Association of South Africa publicly condemned the decision to terminate 5 500 contract workers of the Expanded Public Works Program in the Tshwane and Johannesburg region. The union explained that the workers had been employed on a contractual basis by the State for six years, without the option to permanently employ them. PSA also noted that the State continued to renew their contracts beyond 12 months, which was in contravention of section 198 of the Labour Relations Act “as a reasonable expectation was created to appoint the EPWP workers permanently.”
The trade union accuses the State of directly contributing to the country’s high unemployment rate, claiming that the workers would struggle to support their families due to the loss of their jobs. “The PSA is disturbed by the sudden decision to terminate the contracts of employment of these employees during the current economic situation where the unemployment rate has risen to 29 percent,” the statement read.
The PSA said it would not take the blatant exploitation of the workers lying down. The trade union also called on the Gauteng government to immediately appoint the workers as permanent employees “to avoid dire consequences, which are set to have a severe social and economic impact on the country.”