ANC: Freeze ministers' pay increases
Durban - Salary increases for ministers and top government officials should be frozen in order to reduce the income gap between executives and ordinary workers, the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal said on Sunday.
The call is contained in the declaration of the two-day KwaZulu-Natal African National Congress (ANC) provincial general council which ended on Sunday afternoon.
In the declaration, delegates said they believed that introducing a dispensation in which salary increases for directors in middle and top management are frozen would help the country reduce the wage gap. The dispensation would affect director generals, senior executives in parastatals and government ministers.
Delegates felt that the widening income gap between the low income categories and the top executives was unsustainable and that it contributed to inequality.
Delivering his report on Friday, ANC provincial chair, Dr Zweli Mkhize warned that hefty rise in salaries would push the country into a debt trap.
Malaysia and Greece
This, he said, would put the country in the danger of losing its sovereignty through forced borrowings and structural adjustments to repay the loan.
"That way we may end up with forced salary cuts anyway as it happened in Malaysia in the past and in Greece recently," said Mkhize.
"The fact that the treasury had to borrow about R176bn to cover the budget deficit this year and return to borrow more to fund the gap between the budgeted and demanded salaries of the public servants must send a wake-up call."
The council's aim was to prepare ANC branches for the party's four-day national general council to be held in Durban from September 20.
Attended by 1 200 delegates the council was officially opened by President Jacob Zuma.
SA Communist Party general secretary, Blade Nzimande and Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini addressed the council during closed sessions.
Delegates also raised concerns about corruption, nepotism, factional tendencies and ill-discipline that corrode the principles of the ANC.
They declared corruption as a colossal challenge which derailed the programme for social change.
There was an uncontrollable desire to amass wealth at whatever cost to the ruling party and society at large, the delegates felt.
Closing the council, Mkhize said he was happy that there was unity among delegates from all three tripartite partners.
"We did not see fists flying. We are happy for that. No amount of wishing will bring the alliance down,” he said.
He said unity would help the ruling party to win the upcoming local government elections.