Title page for ETD etd-03092010-193414

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Matlhabe, Ramaesela Martha
Email martha.matlhabe@gauteng.gov.za
URN etd-03092010-193414
Document Title The psychosocial impact of privatisation on employees and their families
Degree MSW
Department Social Work and Criminology
Advisor Name Title
Prof L S Terblanche Supervisor
  • privatisation
  • employee
  • family
  • labour
  • retrenchment
  • employee assistance programme
Date 2009-04-15
Availability restricted

The researcher investigated the psychosocial impact of privatisation on employees and their families.

The investigation comprised a literature study about privatisation in order to gain understanding of the concept, and a qualitative empirical study.A semi-structured interview schedule was used as a basis for data collection.

Retrenched employees from a national parastatal organization were identified for the purpose of the study. The interviews were conducted at the respondentsí places of residence.

The results found that retrenched employees experienced various problems differently, e.g. financial, marital, and educational problems. The results also indicated that no provisions were put in place to provide for respondentsí retirement or life after retrenchment.

Retrenched employees received lump sums, which they could not manage properly. Most of the respondents were in a low-income category and are the ones who were hurt most by privatisation and the resulting retrenchment.The South African government introduced privatisation with the aim of improving the livelihood of the majority of South Africans. There are concerns, however, that privatisation has hurt the socio-economic and psychosocial welfare of the same majority it intended to help. Civil society concerns are that the benefits have gone entirely to the managers of the process. There is a feeling that companies or parastatals have not facilitated adequate participation of the employees in the process, and thus the employees feel robbed.

This report represents the study that was conducted with the aim of assessing the impact of privatisation on employees and their families. The major findings are as follows:

Firstly, a large number of people interviewed indicated that they were not well-informed about the retrenchment programme. However, they understand privatisation to mean the sale of state-owned assets previously owned by the white minority government, but which have accrued to all the citizens of the country since the coming of the New South Africa. According to the respondents, no provisions were put into place for the retrenchment process.

This study provided the opportunity to assess the impact of privatisation, to identify and provide understanding of problems, emotions, and effects that employees experience after the transformation that led to them being retrenched. In order to understand the impact of job losses, the consequent social problems and health and educational issues that resulted in budget cuts, one has to know what changes people go through and the effects these changes and challenges have on their lives and on the lives of their families.

Secondly, it provides an overview of the empirical research findings and interpretation of the data on the impact of privatisation on retrenched employees.

Thirdly, the report addresses the recommendations for the state or government to help the policymakers and the government officials understand potential risks and benefits of privatizing particular government services.

Copyright © 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Matlhabe, RM 2008, The psychosocial impact of privatisation on employees and their families, MSW dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03092010-193414/ >

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