Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu has been given an ultimatum to respond to demands by the Public Servants Association (PSA), acting on behalf of striking South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) employees, or face further action.
In an intensification of their strike action, the PSA had hundreds of members converge at the Sassa head office in Tshwane on Thursday to hand over a memorandum of demands.
Sassa employees have been striking since June 8, following a breakdown in salary negotiations between the PSA and Sassa. According to the union, no agreement could be reached.
"The PSA tabled a wage demand on behalf of members in February 2018, but Sassa failed to table any offer in response," said the PSA in a statement.
"The PSA had no option but to file a dispute at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration."
The conciliation failed and a certificate of non-resolution was issued earlier this year, said the PSA.
PSA general manager Ivan Fredericks said they had attempted to gain an audience with the minister of social development in order to address Sassa's failure to conclude wage negotiations.
"The PSA also repeatedly warned Sassa that its conduct and attitude will impact negatively on service delivery and labour peace," said Fredericks.
In the memorandum, the PSA have demanded a general sliding-scale salary increase of between 13% and 15%.
They have also asked for housing allowances, danger allowances, as well as special leave, family responsibility leave, incapacity leave and insourcing.
"We demand the insourcing of cleaning service, IT, all other support staff, i.e. Management Information System (MIS), service. The related services are key to Sassa's operations and can't function without it either," the memorandum read.
"The PSA has repeatedly voiced its willingness to engage in efforts to find a solution to this growing crisis," said Fredericks.
"The impact of the strike on those who depend on Sassa services is regrettable but is the result of the employer's failure to engage on employees' legitimate demands.
"The PSA expects that its demands will be favourably considered by the minister, and that the union will receive a response within seven days to avoid further or increased action and mobilisation of PSA members," Fredericks concluded.