STATEMENT ISSUED BY CEDRIC FROLICK, MP
SPOKESPERSON FOR PUBLIC ENTERPRISES
announcement by Spoornet's Human Resources manager, Abner Mofokeng, that
Spoornet may retrench as many as 18 500 workers raises serious questions about
Government's restructuring strategy.
We are receiving mixed signals about restructuring on a continuous basis. There
is no clarity about where Government is heading, as an example we were recently
informed that outsourcing would be used as a mechanism to stave off massive
retrenchments. Now we hear Spoornet is budgeting R1.2 billion for retraining 18
500 possible retrenched workers.
The amount proposed for retraining is woefully inadequate, considering that it
boils down to R8000 per retrenched worker. How do Government and Spoornet
foresee that this amount will empower a retrenched worker to enter the bloated
job market with the necessary skills to find new employment?
The UDM on 25 February 2000, asked the Minister of Public Enterprises what are
the projected job losses resulting from restructuring at, amongst others,
Transnet, of which Spoornet is a component. The reply avoided giving any
indication either way. Cynically though, a "fine print" footnote
indicates that the possibility of future job losses cannot be predicted by the
It would appear that the Minister is handling restructuring in a piece-meal
fashion. The much-expected announcement of Government's restructuring plan by
Minister Radebe continues to be delayed. What have become of the negotiations
with the unions in this sector? The Minister must realise two things:
1. Continued speculation caused by each new twist in this saga is destroying the
job security of thousands of workers. 2. This saga raises questions about
whether Government really has a long-term plan with regard the restructuring of
The Minister must keep his promise that "pockets of poverty" will not
be created by restructuring.
Mr Cedric Frolick, MP
UDM Spokesperson on Public Enterprises
29 May 2000