CAPE TOWN – National Treasury says the government’s plans to reduce the number of civil servants by offering early retirement will not be “a free for all”.
This is in response to warnings from economists and unions that the government could lose valuable skills and experience, and that delivery in some areas, such as policing, health and education, could suffer.
But Treasury says not everyone who applies will be allowed to retire early.
Treasury’s acting budget office head Ian Stuart has told Parliament’s finance committees that the early retirement of about 30,000 civil servants has to be done in a careful and structured way.
“How this has been proposed is by no means a free for all, it’s going to be a carefully managed process.”
Stuart says it will be up to accounting officers to make the call, depending on the needs of their departments and the savings that can be achieved.
“It’s not as though anyone who applies will receive it. It has to be done in a careful and structured way.”
Public sector salaries will cost R585 billion this year, 35% of government spending.