Media Release - 25 August 2010

Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale is to meet with public sector unions once the current strike is over to discuss a long-term response to workers' demands for better housing allowances.

“It is clear that we need to meet, once the dust has settled, to engage with unions on how to address the housing needs of public sector workers,” Minister Sexwale said tonight (24 August 2010).

“The demand for housing allowances has emerged as a key issue in the current strike. We hear the unions’ concerns and, when the strike is over, we will be calling a summit on public sector housing. It is quite clear that we need a serious conversation on this matter.

” Sexwale said COSATU and other unions and federations representing public sector workers would be invited to the summit, so that sustainable and structured solutions could be found.

The Minister this evening conveyed his intentions to COSATU general-secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and to Public Service Minister Richard Baloyi.

Government recently established a R1-billion Guarantee Fund specifically designed to encourage financial institutions to increase their lending to blue collar workers, including public sector workers such as police, nurses, teachers and correctional services staff.

“The question of housing is obviously very close to the hearts of public sector workers,” Sexwale said. “We need to hear from them what more should be done to address their concerns.”

Chris Vick Special Advisor to Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale
083 556 7644

Press Release Date: 
Wednesday, August 25, 2010