Swazi loan was a mistake: Vavi

2011-09-08 14:12

Johannesburg - The government was wrong to give Swaziland a R2.4bn bailout, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday.

"We are saying it was a mistake... that's our tax money you are giving to them," he told a Food and Allied Workers' Union congress in Johannesburg.

The reality was that most South African workers still did not earn a decent living wage, yet it was bailing out other struggling countries.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions said it would take up the battle of the Swaziland people because it wanted them to have freedom. It wanted political parties in the African kingdom to be unbanned so it could have a democratic multi-party system.

The union federation had sent a delegation to Swaziland to participate in pro-democracy protests this week. On Wednesday deputy Cosatu president Zingiswa Losi and deputy international secretary Zanele Matebula were arrested during protests and deported.

Swaziland is in financial crisis and political parties have been banned since 1973.

King Mswati III holds the country's ultimate executive, legislative and judicial power.

Foreign media reported that its government is freezing civil servant salaries and cutting other costs, including student allowances.

South Africa agreed to loan Swaziland the money on condition that it be used for economic and political reform.

Ban labour brokers

Vavi urged delegates to show South Africans that politics in South Africa could be conducted with integrity, morals and principles.

"We are not in the business of taking anybody's side...We will not be blackmailed into silence by anybody...We are a principled organisation," he said.

Turning to labour brokers, Vavi said workers wanted a total ban of the system.

"We want to be hired directly by those benefiting from our labour."

Earlier this week, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said it was not possible to heed union demands to ban brokers overnight. She said the Labour Relations Act first needed to be amended and phased out.

Vavi said workers also wanted an affordable and efficient public transport system to replace the "moving coffins" that marginalised people were forced to use. He felt the Gautrain was for the elite.

The federation would further focus on water accessibility.

"We are told that we are going downhill and that by 2017, we will run out of water here in Gauteng. This is because we don't have enough dams."

Water underground was "spoilt" because of mining, and acid water threatened drinking water and vegetation, he said.

  • Da.Liva.Delvira - 2011-09-08 14:20

    It's about time u catch a wake up on helping other countries!!! jelp our country first!!! Too late to cry over spilled milk now Mr. Zwelinzima Vavi... You should of thought about that before lending money to neighboring countries and brought the issue/s forward...

      Together - 2011-09-08 14:42

      Could someone furnish Mr Vavi with Luthuli House's phone number, the map to Parliament and the SACP's email address? Why is he telling the unions and us that it was a mistake? As part of the tri-partite alliance, and having members of Parliament in Cosatu, he was part of that initial decision. To pass such a decision and then take to protesting is ridiculous. Everything feels like a con and a robbery being perpertrated on SA's embattled citizens of all races - we need to find people who talk straight and understand due process.

      No8 - 2011-09-08 14:43

      I understand King Mswati is now demanding a commission of R400m for organising the loan from the SA government.

      Mags_24 - 2011-09-08 15:05

      If the terms of the bailout is that we get some land or natural resources in return then the ANC is learning quickly from from the West. Playing like the big boys.

  • Willie_G - 2011-09-08 14:23

    Mr Vavi. Do not tell that to us or the Food and Allied Workers' Union ... Rather voice those nice and strong opinions you seem to have selectively with your affiliate/alliance partner in the ruling government. Try to prevent such action and don't just criticise and lambast actions already taken with your preceding knowledge thereof...

  • Cowgoesmoo - 2011-09-08 14:23

    Lightbulb moment!

  • TBOOZE - 2011-09-08 14:23

    where has this guy been? his been quiet of late . maybe he also got an "ENVELOPE" . I've heard he mite also get seat within the ANC to shut him up for good

      Together - 2011-09-08 14:43

      Could someone furnish Mr Vavi with Luthuli House's phone number, the map to Parliament and the SACP's email address? Why is he telling the unions and us that it was a mistake? As part of the tri-partite alliance, and having members of Parliament in Cosatu, he was part of that initial decision. To pass such a decision and then take to protesting is ridiculous. Everything feels like a con and a robbery being perpertrated on SA's embattled citizens of all races - we need to find people who talk straight and understand due process.

  • Concerned - 2011-09-08 14:24

    From the blue of our sky, From the depths of our seas, Over our eternal mountain Where the cliffs give answer. Due to a deserted plains The groans of wagon. Noise the voice of our beloved, Of our country South Africa. We will answer your call, We will offer you asked: We live, we will die We for you South Africa. In the marrow of our bones, in our heart and soul and spirit, Our pride in our past, In what we hope will be. In our will and work and walk From our cradle to our grave. Part no other country we love, Put no faith away. Homeland, we will aristocracy Your name with honor wear: Where faith and as Africans, Children of South Africa. In songloed of our summer in our winter's cold, In the spring of our love, in our mourning crepe. By the sounds of huw'liksklokkies, the lump-clapping on the chest. Soothe your voice never in vain, Do you know where your children. At your call we never say nay, Say we always, always so: To live, to die Yes, we are, South Africa. On Your omnipotence fixed trusting our fathers built: Giving our strength, O Lord! To maintain and keep. That the plots of our fathers For our children inherit remain Servants of the Most High, At the free world. As our fathers trusted; Learning our trust, O Lord: Our country and our nation Would it be so, God reigns.

      I Like Everything - 2011-09-08 14:30

      I like google translate

      william.nettmann - 2011-09-08 14:49

      Real English version:

      Concerned - 2011-09-08 14:58

      Aagh man, I'm glad this rubbish is no longer sung in this country. We've got Nkosi Sikelela now. Although some esteemed ppl enjoy butchering it. That's why we've lost the Rugby World Cup already before it even start 2moro. Shame on you Ard & Ras Dumisani. You are a disgrace 2 the nation.

      Unskinny Bob - 2011-09-08 15:14

      The fact that the new national anthem is sung to the tune of "Itsy-bitsy-spider" tells you everything about the "New South Africa" that you need to know.

      BloodRiver - 2011-09-08 16:49

      I miss the old days...

  • ShRoOm PoPsiCLe - 2011-09-08 14:24

    Yes, we did warn the government - but they never listen to reason.

  • IandI - 2011-09-08 14:25

    Eish. Does this mean the King can no longer send his 16 wives shopping in Dubai for Xmas?

  • BrokenLink - 2011-09-08 14:25

    You lost any right to complain when you "unconditionally" supported the ANC in the elections. You get what you vote for. So stop moaning. You are as responsibly for this as the ANC.

      crackerr - 2011-09-08 14:57

      @ BrokenLink You have said all that there is to say, except perhaps ask the question of Vavi: What is it with you, Vavi, and when are you going to stop making a nuisance of yourself?

  • Concerned - 2011-09-08 14:25

    Idiot, what is this rubbish for??

  • Swart_Baas - 2011-09-08 14:27

    mmhhhhh....I am beginning to think that maybe, maybe the loan was a good thing!! if COSATU thinks its a bad thing, then it must be a good thing. theory proven time and again: labour laws

  • nic - 2011-09-08 14:27


  • IC1 - 2011-09-08 14:28

    Oh look Vavi just had a brain fart!

      Shrek - 2011-09-08 16:14

      Breaking news: Vavi has rational moment, ANC gives him a headache tablet, Vavi is sent home and recovers from the problem. He comes back to office cleared of any inteligence and resumes his duties.

  • Daemos1 - 2011-09-08 14:30

    Vavi speaks up now only after the fact cheap politicking, he would have opposed the loan initially if he was serious

  • Concerned - 2011-09-08 14:35

    @ I Like Everything, you're are so intelligent! Keep it up, idiot.

      ToffaSaffa - 2011-09-08 14:56

      @Concerned... you are either not very clever or old or both.

      Concerned - 2011-09-08 15:02

      @ToffaSaffa, I'm too old that's why.Not very clever, yes. & What's your case? You idiot.

      Daemos1 - 2011-09-08 15:55

      @Concerned Who took the jam out of your doughnut there's this thing called 'fun' that some people have, you should try it sometime

      Concerned - 2011-09-08 17:06

      @Daemos1, Go Away Man! I'm tired now. I told you that I'm old.

  • Settler - 2011-09-08 14:35

    Ban the Unions.

      Swart_Baas - 2011-09-08 14:51

      couldnt agree more. these parasites stifle growth with their ridiculous demands. demands that never meet increase in productivity!!!!!!!!

      Seth - 2011-09-08 15:12

      Banning unions will open doors for gross worker exploitation. Regulate union activity better. Give unions responsibility for their members on strikes.

  • mo-man - 2011-09-08 14:37

    Ma se!!!!

  • Terminusest - 2011-09-08 14:39

    No really? Then why did it take so long to sink in? Perhaps you should speak to your tripartite alliance cronies about it - hardly helps you whinge in public.

  • proudly - 2011-09-08 14:45

    He clearly didnt get his 'cut'

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-08 14:46

    Too right and I think a little too late now.

  • Pixie1984 - 2011-09-08 14:47


  • onetickie - 2011-09-08 14:47

    You are right Vavi. That money is needed in SA. Tax payers work hard for their money and have to pay their taxes. In return they are supposed to receive municipal services but in many provinces these services have ceased to exist. The taxes should also have gone to upgrading/improving the provincial hospitals the ANC inherited in 1994. All were excellent hospitals but have since fallen into decay and stand empty due to staff/workers having stolen/plundered anything they could get their grubby little hands on. The tax-payers money has been wasted since 1994. South Africa is declining more rapidly with each day. Roads are falling apart,literally. Infrastructure in general is a shambles. But the ANC government sees fit to give the Swazi a R2,4bn bailout!!!! Even the International Monetary Fund decided not to bail them out again as Swaziland could not account for previous loans given to them.

  • Sisie - 2011-09-08 14:48

    Interesting that Vavi & cohorts will only open their big mouths after the fact, as when the majority of the nation has voiced their opinion against. It is then easy to talk the talk.

  • Oom Koos - 2011-09-08 14:48

    frikket, met daai foto kan jy baie kinners bang maak

  • Strange - 2011-09-08 14:51

    Who advised the dimwit Vavi to come to the conclusion that "The government was wrong to give Swaziland a R2.4bn bailout." I hate it to say "told you so..."

  • jen - 2011-09-08 14:51

    Of course it was a mistake - that money could have been used to create jobs for black people and keep them out of jail - so whites would not be blamed again for the sad state of affiars. What did the powers that be think when they initiated that loan to the chubby cheeks Mswati.

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