The City of Cape Town’s Council on Wednesday adopted a policy that could allow city employees with scarce skills to work until they are 65 years old.
Individuals with a retirement age of 60 could apply for the extension. The city manager would approve motivated requests from the relevant executive directors.
The provision only applied to those who joined the city service after December 15 2000.
The council also adopted a recommendation that a uniform retirement age of 65 be considered once the draft Local Government: Municipal Staff Regulations were promulgated in Parliament.
ANC councillor Monde Nqulwana said the party opposed any extension of the retirement age.
“There is no doubt that most of these workers said to have scarce skills are old and white males,” he claimed.
“For young people, young minds, it is only proper that when you reach your retirement age you must go.”
Nqulwana said the unemployment rate remained “relatively high” and such a proposal “clearly ignored that reality”.
FF Plus councillor Andre Fourie supported the policy.
He said it was a worldwide phenomenon that people were living longer, thanks to modern technology.
In a report to council, it was stated that those close to retirement possessed “valuable institutional knowledge” which the city should try to transfer and retain.
An analysis revealed that 46% of skilled technical and academically qualified employees, junior management, supervisors, foremen and superintendents would retire at 65, compared to 54% at age 60.
“A number of scarce skills occupations exist at these levels and the current retirement profile will result in a skills gap over the next few years,” the report stated.
After a vote, 133 members voted in favour, while 61 voted against and one abstained. News24