The Agreement on the Government Employees Housing Scheme attained majority signature on 27 May 2015. The means that the following:
The scheme will be implemented incrementally from 1 July 2015 with a view to-
- supporting, educating and advising employees on housing options and opportunities.
- promoting home ownership.
- assisting employees to access affordable housing loans and finance.
- assisting employees to rent housing with a view to buying and owning their own homes.
Employees who are currently eligible and are receiving the housing allowance will continue to receive the R900 p.m. until 30 June 2015.
• On 1 July the 2015 the housing allowance for eligible employees will increase to R 1 200 p.m., subject to the following conditions:
o Those who own houses will receive the full increased allowance.
o Those who do not own houses will continue to receive the current R 900 p.m. with the remaining R 300 p.m. (the difference between the R 900 and the R 1 200 p.m. to which the allowance will increase on 1 July 2015) diverted into an interest-bearing individual-linked savings facility for each such employee. Employees may also opt to have the full housing allowance diverted into the savings account.
• New employees (i.e. those entering the public service after 27 May 2015) who become eligible for the housing allowance will –
o receive the R 1 200 p.m. (in-pocket) if they own a house and/or are repaying a home-loan for houses in which they live.
o have the whole R 1 200 p.m. diverted into the individual-linked savings account if they do not own a house.
(It is unclear what the position of new employees that enter the public service between 27 May and 1 July 2015 will be.)
• Accumulated funds in an employee’s individual-linked savings account –
• may only be accessed (at any time) for acquiring home-ownership or building or improving a house.
• will be paid out to an employee upon retirement or medical boarding.
• will be paid to the beneficiaries or estate of an employee in the event of death.
• will be forfeited by an employee upon resignation or dismissal.
• The housing allowance will be adjusted annually on 1 July with the average CPI for the preceding financial year.
Whilst NAPTOSA campaigned for the increase in the housing allowance it is not a signatory to the Agreement mainly due to the discriminatory provisions thereof (new employees to be treated differently from current employees whilst the practice is to continue that only one spouse can qualify for the allowance where both work for the public service) and the many uncertainties/questions linked to the scheme.