Military vets want state to keep to its side of bargain

2017-03-02 06:00
Provincial leadership of South African Security Forces Union, Lindaman Xeji, Vuyo Ndaba, Steve Ngcobo, George Mbala and Current Rumbu addressed the media on Sunday.PHOTO: voox sonandzi

Provincial leadership of South African Security Forces Union, Lindaman Xeji, Vuyo Ndaba, Steve Ngcobo, George Mbala and Current Rumbu addressed the media on Sunday.PHOTO: voox sonandzi

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The South African Security Forces Union (Sasfu) has urged President Jacob Zuma to implement resolutions tabled by former Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu in 2012 on the fiftieth celebration of Umkhonto Wesizwe.

Sasfu provincial secretary Steve Ngcobo said nothing had materialised since Ms Sisulu delivered the speech.

“Amongst other things, she promised that the salaries of soldiers will be adjusted to recognise years of service but that has not been done,” said Ngcobo.

“We are essentially calling on our commander, Pres Jacob Zuma to revisit the speech and assess if it was adhered to.

He must implement the resolutions made in that speech,” Ngcobo said at a press briefing held in Khayelitsha on Sunday.

He said they were still in pursuit of better salaries as promised by the then Defence Force Mïnister.

“The radical economic transformation that the president spoke about in parliament must also affect us, it must talk to us,” Ngcobo.

Sasfu provincial executive member George Mbala said they were speaking out because their “membership want answers”.

“They have mandated us to come out and speak about the problems we face in the military,” said Mbala.

He said because they cannot legally strike, they will be approaching Cosatu and other trade unions to pledge by “raising our plight”.

He said there were many issues that affect the morale of the troops.

“The issue of two year contracts for new soldiers is a problem for us.

You have young men and women who are not certain about their future - we want the government to give them longer contracts,” he said.

The union will soon be holding pickets throughout the country to “conscientise the nation”.

“We hope that by the time Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula tables her budget, she will address us too,” added Sasfu vice chairperson Vuyo Ndaba.

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