DA, EFF slam Free State for employing Cubans

2015-05-26 14:45

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Bloemfontein - Opposition parties have reacted in disgust to the Free State government’s decision to employ 38 Cuban engineers.

Both the DA and the EFF have interpreted the announcement at the provincial headquarters of the ANC as a slap in the face of local engineers.

DA Provincial leader Roy Jankielsohn said Free State Premier Ace Magashule's administration had a crop of locally qualified professionals to choose from. 

“If Ace Magashule and the ANC were keen on creating jobs for unemployed South Africans, his government could have employed any of the about 500 qualified, experienced, and unemployed engineers in the country.

“Magashule claims his government had to employ these engineers from Cuba because South Africans do not possess the requisite skills. This mentality is the worst sort of insult to South Africans,” he said.

Jankielsohn also accused Magashule and the ANC of acting as labour brokers for Cuba.

EEF provincial chair Kgotso Morapela said his party appreciated the role and the contribution of Cuba during South Africa’s trying times, and believed that through Cuba the province could learn many lessons in addressing the triple challenges of unemployment, inequality and poverty.

But he added that it was “really dishonest and unappreciative towards the engineering fraternity in our province”.

‘Vote of no confidence’

“What we saw and heard yesterday is a vote of no confidence to the institutions of higher learning in our province and a spit in the face of many engineers who are without jobs, by the Free State government.”

“We know that some of those who are qualified engineers are moving to other provinces where there are greener pastures and where their skills are well appreciated, because their own Free State government is not recognising their engineering skills,” Morapela said.

He said if the Free State government was really caring, they should be working closely with the institutions of higher learning and the private engineering companies to have service-level agreements, whereby students could be taken by these companies for training.

“The money to be spent on the Cuban engineers can be channelled to the programme of experiential training for the students.

"We know that they will never dare to capacitate the students who are not going to be loyal to them, they rather run to those who know little about our province and cannot question anything.”

‘Financial relationship’

Jankielsohn further questioned the financial reasons behind the appointments, insisting that Magashule and his comrades were "so infatuated by an outdated revolutionary romanticism, they are unable to think clearly".

“The Free State government is hell-bent on staffing the provincial civil service with the ANC ideologically aligned Cubans above the millions of unemployed South Africans.

“This creates questions about what benefit the ANC and its individual leaders might get from what is clearly a financial relationship with Cuba.”

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  bloemfontein  |  cuba  |  service delivery

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