THE Limpopo department of agriculture allegedly owes workers about R4 million in unpaid Occupation Specific
The allegations come from the 2009 Department of Labour’s Bargaining Council ruling which recommended that all agricultural scientists and technicians should get salary increments as they qualify for OSD.
The employees alleged that the department changed their job titles in order to ensure they don’t get salary increments.
The job titles were changed from agricultural scientists and technicians into agricultural advisers.
According to the documents seen by African Times, names of some of the complainants appeared on the list of employees who qualified for the OSD, yet the department classified them as unqualified.
“We know it for a fact that we qualified for the OSD, but some senior people at the department decided to change our titles to something else in order to fail us. “Our calculations show that department owes us more than R 4 million.
“Before they implanted the OSD they selected their relatives’ names and gave them salary increments even though they were not qualifying.
“Some of them did not even have degrees, which means they did not qualify for the OSD. After trying to report the matter to all relevant bodies without any success, we then decided to take the matter to court,” said one employee who asked not to be named for fear of victimisation.
Departmental spokesperson Selby Makgotho said he could not quantify the amount owed to the people and they would wait for the outcome of the court case to get an understanding of the amount and number of workers affected.
“Since the matter is still in court, we are not sure, how many people are going to win the case, therefore, it is not easy for us to tell you how much people are being owed. “I really don’t know how these people calculated the amount and
reach to that point,” said Makgotho.
When asked why the employees job titles where changed Makgotho said: “It is completely incorrect to
insinuate that job descriptions were changed as a means of disqualification. Job titles were changed to be in alignment with an earlier national government department’s resolution which standardized changes in all other
government departments. This was inclusive of the variety of jobs in the sector. The inference that OSD was paid
to those closer proximities to the management is devoid of any truth, unfounded, and baseless. The issue of
OSD is currently before the court.”