Politicians' salaries spinning out of control - Mchunu

2015-07-30 18:15
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal ANC chairperson Senzo Mchunu painted a bleak picture of South Africa’s economy at Cosatu’s 12th provincial congress in Durban on Thursday, warning that salaries in the public and private sector were spinning out of control.

“It is spiralling beyond our affordability. I am talking about the salary of national ministers, presidency, [members of parliament], premiers, [members of the executive council] and the whole workforce. The question is, are we going to afford those salaries going forward?” he said.

He also warned about cheap imports crippling the country's manufacturing industry, asking the Brics member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to assist.

"The kind of goods coming from these friendships and partnership are cheap... On the one hand, we need to calculate and manage the cheap manufactured goods coming from these countries and, on the other, we need to maintain these friendships,” he said, adding no miracles would solve South Africa’s fiscal problem.

He said the ANC could not solve these problems without the help from the federation.  

“The holy challenge facing the alliance is the fiscal situation facing our country. From where I stand, it’s a situation that calls on all of us to be sober.

“The figure grew from R500bn in 2005. It’s been 10 years and the figure is now R2trn. We are spending money we don’t have, and have to borrow money. Interest we have to pay for this debt is R126bn.”

Opened on Wednesday, the conference was attended by 1 400 guests and delegates.

Mchunu told the alliance it was time the ANC and its alliance partners worked together to make South Africa a better country.

“Our fundamental challenge is unemployment. It is threatening the stability of this country, because a large part of unemployed people is the youth."

Mchunu said low economic growth and low investment meant South Africa was unable to generate interest from investments.  

“If Cosatu abandons us, we are not going to survive. We need Cosatu to commit to us for us to move forward. If we, as an alliance, are going to be afraid of dealing with the challenges, we are going to derail,” he said.  

Mchunu said the first step was admitting the challenges were critical.

“We can’t keep quiet anymore. These challenges are a threat to our democracy and the alliance. Let’s not call one another sell-outs when people articulate challenges.  

“We may face a slide in numbers if we do not face these challenges,” he said.

Mchunu also highlighted load shedding and the drought in the province as major economic threats.

“How are we going to attract investments when there is no power in the country?”

Read more on:    cosatu  |  anc  |  senzo mchunu  |  durban

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