Notice for members' employees of SAEFA's position

South African Engineers and Founders Association

24 August 2017

As you are aware, the SA Engineers and Founders Association does not support the wage agreement signed yesterday by SEIFSA and the trade unions.  There are many reasons for this, chief amongst which are:

  • The deal is detrimental to the industry as it contains none of the employer proposals which are critical to the survival of manufacturing in South Africa. One of these proposals was to allow for the wage increases to be awarded on minimum rates in the industry, as opposed to the current practice of increases being given on actual rates of pay.  The net effect of increases being given on actuals over the years has been to increase real wages in the industry to levels which are now unaffordable to many companies, especially small-to-medium sized ones.  Numbers recently referred to media reports indicate 140 000 jobs lost in the industry in the past 10 years and 25 000 lost over the past year alone.  While not all of these job losses can be ascribed to high wage levels, a very substantial number most certainly can.  This deal will simply lead to more of the same.
  • Another critical employer proposal that is not included in the deal is for a separate wage schedule which would be applicable to new entrants into the sector.  This proposal was made to allow for job creation in the form of allowing employers to take on unskilled employees at a lower rate of pay, in order to upskill them to the point where they can add greater value to the business. This proposal would not affect existing employees in any way.   
  • The deal was reached with the deliberate exclusion of all the employer parties not affiliated to SEIFSA. 

The South African Engineers and Founders Association was previously affiliated to SEIFSA, before breaking away in December 2016.

Following misleading media reports published yesterday, members are being approached by their employees who are enquiring as to when they are to be given a wage increase.  In response, the SA Engineers and Founders Association has prepared the attached notice, which may be placed on your company notice board.  SAEFA will continue to negotiate with the trade unions in order to secure an agreement that will change the current destructive trajectory of the industry.

Notice to member company employees 24 August 2017