Public servants on salary levels 1 to 10 already qualify for the housing allowance, says Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo.
“The conditions of service of all permanently employed public servants below the Senior Management Service, including those on low to middle-income grades, are governed by prescripts emanating from negotiations at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council.
“Public Servants who are on salary levels 1 to 10 already qualify for the housing allowance. The current housing allowance is R1500.07 per month,” said the Minister while responding to a Parliamentary question on what date will the low to middle-income grades of employees of the public sector be upgraded in order for them to qualify for housing subsidies since they do not qualify for government’s low-cost housing?
She also announced that government has further de-linked the housing allowance to make it possible for both partners working in the public service to qualify for the housing allowance.
The Minister said the housing allowance is increased annually with effect from 1 July, as per the preceding year’s consumer price index (CPI).
Minister Dlodlo further said that a Memorandum of Understanding is in place with the Department of Human Settlements’ National Housing Finance Corporation (NHFC) regarding housing subsidies under the Finance-Linked Individual Subsidy Programme (FLISP), which are also offered to public servants.
The FLISP subsidy is offered on a sliding scale with the lowest income earners (from R3501 per month) qualifying for the highest subsidy (R121 626).
However, she said employees earning above R22 000 per month do not qualify for the FLISP subsidy.
Public Servants at low to middle income grades may access both the housing allowance and the FLISP subsidy. This assists them to become home owners.
Constitutional Court judgement
On February 28, this year, the Constitutional Court upheld an earlier ruling by the Labour Court that the R30, 2 billion salary increase awarded to public servants in 2018 was invalid, unlawful and violated sections 213 and 215 of the Constitution.
The Minister said that government is fully aware that the Constitutional Court judgement may create an impression that the integrity of the collective bargaining process is called into question.
However, she said government takes comfort in the fact that the right to collective bargaining is entrenched in the Constitution and the Labour Relations Act, 1995, adding that government is committed to these principles.
The Minister indicated that she is planning to engage trade unions on this matter in the near future.
Minister Dlodlo said one of the main aims of the 4-day Public Service Summit which wrapped on March 31, 2022 was to facilitate social dialogue and restore trust between public service and employees as represented by trade unions.