The Congress of South African Trade Unions is deeply offended by the scandalous wastage of public resources by the Public Works department that is spending millions on upgrading ministerial houses. This is happening at the same time that many workers are losing their jobs and millions of lower income household are struggling to have three meals a day.
This is not only scandalous but is also deeply insensitive and represents everything that is wrong with the political class in this country. South African politicians are amongst the highest paid in the world and this wasteful expenditure by the Department of Public Works is insensitive to the deepening poverty and inequality that exist in this country.
The country is R3 trillion in debt and yet government departments are still spending money like drunken sailors. Politicians act surprised when townships all across the country are burning with the poor people demanding better services from their public representatives. This is happening because people are waking up to insensitive headlines about millions of rands being spent to pamper politicians and their families.
This is also taking place in the context where around half of the population is poor and experiencing food insecurity and hunger. The socioeconomic status of the majority in South Africa is deteriorating, with South Africa continuing to have the highest jobless rate of more than 60 emerging and developed countries.
The poverty figures show that 17 million people are depended on social grants, and whilst 60% of government expenditure is linked to social wage, which includes social grants, health and education, the quality of these services remains very poor because a substantial portion has been diverted to benefit consultants.
It is also hypocritical for the National Treasury to keep reminding everyone about the extent of the economic, governance and budgetary crises facing government while allowing this wasteful expenditure to continue unabated.COSATU is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to reign in this careless and profligate use of taxpayers money and start taking the people of South Africa seriously.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (COSATU National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 679