My African Dream – I’m just saying . . .

We have once again come to that time of the year when there is a battle for public servants to get a reasonable and fair salary increase. The “fight” always extends beyond 1 July which is supposed to be the implementation date. Instead, public servants have to be satisfied with a single digit increase which, most of the time, equates to only approximately 1% REAL increase and which usually has to be back-dated to 1 July.

 This year is no exception. Once again, Treasury has only budgeted for a 5% increase which they know from previous years, no public servant (via the Unions) will be willing to accept. Everyone complains that public servants earn inflated salaries. This may be true of the President and all his men and women (Ministers, Deputy Ministers etc) but not for the lower levels of staff.

Administrators and others on lower salary levels must always be grateful for the “crumbs” which fall when, without the administrative support staff, offices will crumble (no pun intended). Are administrators and other support staff not worthy of being rewarded and acknowledged?

The State never runs out of money and is never over budget when it comes to giving the President and all his men (and women) their annual increases. Fraud and corruption continues unabated, high-ranking officials are suspended (with pay) for months  – I could go on, yet a long song-and-dance is made each year when public servants need some reward or recognition for the hard work they have put in. Mind you, I have to acknowledge that not all public servants work equally hard, but on the other hand, maybe if they did not have to fight each year for an increase, they might consider actually “going the extra mile” for a change.

The excuse this year is that anything above 6.5% will mean a lack of services to the poor, derail job creation and increase expenditure. This is according to the new Minister of Public Service and Administration, Lindiwe Sisulu as reported in the New Age (newspaper), this morning.

When I think of the millions, if not billions of rand wasted by our government each month – besides what has already been mentioned, there are all those public events (sometimes costing millions) and other fruitless and wasteful expenditure which hampers service delivery, derails job creation and lack of services, I’m left wondering “who is fooling who?”

The State always has  money to “waste”, so why not spend less on public events and paying people for sitting at home, using public funds to do so, and spend more time on those who actually come to the office each day in an effort to provide services to the poor, do the work they are actually being paid to do and the increased expenditure will then be fruitful rather than wasteful and fruitless.

The headline in the Cape Argus last night “SA offers $2billion to IMF (International Monetary Fund)’s firewall” to try to prevent the European debt crisis spreading.

. . .  and yet there is no money for a salary increase for public servants?

What a wonderful world we’re living in. The rich get richer and the poor? Well, they just get poorer, I suppose.

 I’m just saying . . .

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