The National Education, Health, and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) has backed the Independent Commission for the Remuneration of Public Office Bearers’s decision to recommend no pay hikes for senior government officials this year, and at the same time expressed concern at the amount spent by government on judicial commissions of inquiry.
To date, government had spent over R300 million of taxpayers’ money to fund judicial commissions of inquiry, the union said in a statement on Saturday.
“The amount will go up considering that there is another judicial commission of inquiry that is coming up on the state capture allegations. We view this as reckless use of taxpayers’ money.”
In a country ravaged by abject poverty, rising unemployment, and inequality, R300 million was a lot of money that could be used to address these problems.
“Over and above that we can’t have a government that spends that amount of money on useless judicial commissions of inquiry while we still face a huge issue of funding free tertiary education for the working class and the poor.”
The R300 million did not include money spent on legal fees to “interdict the release of reports and other useless issues”, Nehawu said.
“The working class is not blind and notices these wasteful expenditures. If this waste of taxpayers’ money does not come to an end then the movement [African National Congress and the alliance] will have difficulties in convincing our masses to vote for us come 2019.”
Nehawu fully supported the call by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration for Public Office for senior officials not to receive a salary increase this year “to avoid an economic meltdown”.
According to the commission, this would highlight the economic situation the country currently found itself in and further prompt government to put more measures in place to the avoid “a complete economic meltdown”.
“The working class and the poor are the ones that bear the brunt of the economic and fiscus downtrends, so it is only fair that those who are entrusted with running our economy lead in front in relation to tightening the belts,” Nehawu said.
– African News Agency (ANA)