The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) is pleased that President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to retrieve the amendments they had enacted in the ministerial handbook that gave ministers and deputy ministers free water, free electricity and to hire more staff (from 11 to 15) at the expense of government.
These provisions were made amidst a public service dispute in which the state refuses to give public servants an above inflation wage increase and has pushed all state enterprises including the local government to curb wage increases of workers to below inflation. Additionally, this is amidst a refusal to introduce a Basic Income Grant (BIG) at R1 500 for the unemployed and poor people in the country. Ironically, it is the same people who reject the BIG on the basis that government cannot dish free handouts that will strain the government fiscus, that grant themselves free electricity, free water and personnel.
Free basic water and electricity, including free refuse collection, housing, free quality health and higher education amongst others ought to be given to the poor majority that is languishing in anguish poverty and deprivation, not the kleptocratic elite that mismanages our country, steal from the fiscus and sell our country to the profiteers. The only suited freebies for this corrupt kleptocracy is prison cells.
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