Gates were locked at the Sassa head office. Picture: Rudzani Matshili

Pretoria - The ongoing strike over wage negotiations by SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) workers is far from over, Public Service Association (PSA) provincial manager Olivia Mashigo has warned.  

She made the warning after employees represented by the PSA intensified their call for a living wage downing tools at all Sassa offices today and picketed outside the Sassa head office in Pretoria. 

The members arrived at locked gates and no one came out to address them.  

All Sassa offices were affected countrywide.  

Mashigo said: “The fact of the matter is that we are not going to stop and we are willing to spend whatever needs to be spent and do whatever needs to be done, in order for our members to be heard.”

“The minister is under the impression that the PSA is all talk and no action and that’s why they are hard headed about it and they even closed the gates. They never thought that the PSA would pull this off and they thought we were all about negotiations and never about action,” she said. 

Workers picket outside the Sassa head office. Video: Rudzani Matshili

 Mashigo said they would continue with the strike until their demands were met.

“For this week we are having a complete shutdown today and we will continue to picket for the rest of the week. 

“The main issue that prompted the strike is the issue of wage negotiations. We told Sassa that we want a certain amount but they were only offering 7%.”

Members were also picketing over the biometric system.  

“We feel that Sassa doesn't take us seriously. Most of the time when we raise issues, especially wage issues, they don’t take us seriously. 

“You’ll remember in the news, there’s been the issue of biometric which is the system that is utilised to pay people their pension funds and they are now using it to pay Sassa grants. 

“You’ll also remember that there was a company which was in the news and got the contract but it was fake. Now we are forced to operate that biometric system which is an additional function to jobs. 

“We found out when we began with the picket that our members are the only ones working on this system. All other employees are not subjected to this system but the question now becomes; what makes them so special?.”

“For us it is also about the continued abuse of power by Sassa where they just disregard us even when in bargaining, there’s just a complete disregard for us.” Mashigo said.