Durban - As social grant recipients waited outside the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) district office in Durban on Tuesday, Sassa employees abandoned their work stations and protested outside over poor working conditions and unsettled wage negotiations.
The disgruntled workers at the district office at Durban's Masabalala Yengwa Avenue (formerly NMR Avenue) vowed not to return to work until their grievances were dealt with.
They are aggrieved over an unsettled wage and working conditions dispute with the Department for Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and Sassa.
The strike by Sassa employees has been going on periodically at different branches in the country since last week after the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) served both the DPSA and Sassa officials with strike notices.
Arnold Rajbal, PSA branch shop steward said workers were not happy that their demands have not yet been met.
"We have a long memorandum that was submitted in the bargaining process. The response has not been favourable. Our demands include a salary increase of 15%, increased medical aid subsidies and a re-look at certain parameters of the housing allowance which limits beneficiaries to either a husband or a wife. We want both breadwinners to qualify for the allowance," he said.
He said workers are committed to a complete shutdown of services until their demands are met.
"We just want a decent salary for all public servants. We're hoping that the Minister of Social Development (Susan Shabangu) acts in good faith and meets us somewhere on our demands so that our members can be satisfied," said Rajbal.
KZN spokesman for SASSA, Vusumuzi Penuel Mahaye, said negotiations are being handled at a national level and are ongoing. "It will be advisable for public to come to our offices once we have capacity to assist them. The inconvenience is regrettable."