JOHANNESBURG - Civil servants' jobs are safe, for now, that's the guarantee the Public service and Administration Minister's given.
Government is trying to cut its bloated public service wage bill.
It's now offering early retirement to 30, 000 workers.
Government currently spends R585-billion on paying the country's nurses, teachers, police officers, diplomats and other civil servants.
The figure, which is being called unsustainable, is projected to increase over the coming years.
Government now wants to cut the bill, a move that's left many fearing for their jobs.
“We want to assure people who work for public service out there that we are not having an axe in our shoulder that’s about to cut anyone tomorrow, everything will be done to accommodate people,” said Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu.
Mchunu says billions can be saved through early retirements and that there are other ways government is also planning to trim the fat.
Labour unions will be watching this process closely and they've already raised concerns that mass early retirements may lead to a skills drain.