The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) welcomes the renewed commitments by the Minister of Public Enterprises Malusi Nkanyezi Gigaba, to curb excessive pay for CEO’s and Board Members of State-Owned Companies.
Minister Gigaba told parliament’s standing committee on accounts that he had ordered all CEOs and Board members of State-Owned entities under his department not to receive pay increases until a proper remuneration policy had been put in place.
This is decisive leadership which has been absent for quite a long time in high echelons of power.
We fully agree with Minister Gigaba that “remuneration generally of executives is quite high and it doesn’t contribute to bridging the inequality gaps between the highest paid and lowest paid”.
We have been vindicated by this assertion of the Minister.
We have been arguing that excessive pay reinforces in the public sphere that occupying a key position of authority within the state-owned enterprises one is entitled to material gains and accumulation, as opposed to meeting the developmental needs of our people especially those of workers and the poor.
The salaries or remuneration paid to CEO’s both in public and private institutions are deplorable and an insult to other public representatives and ordinary workers who earn far less.
As Numsa, we strongly believe that the workers and the poor should mount a radical and militant campaign to put a stop on exorbitant public and private earned salaries which are reproducing apartheid and racialised income inequalities.
We call for the remuneration policy to be developed by the Ministry of Public Enterprises to be done through democratic and public process in line with the Freedom Charter injunction ‘the people shall govern”.
In the words of Chris Hani ‘the perks of a new government are not appealing to me.
Everybody of course, would like to have a good job, a good salary, and that sort of thing.
But for me, that is not the be-all of a struggle.
What is important is the continuation of the struggle – and we must accept that the struggle is always continuing – under different conditions whether within parliament, or outside parliament, we shall begin to tackle the real problems of the country.
And the real problems of the country are not whether one is in the cabinet, or a key minister, but what we do for social upliftment of the working masses of our country’.
These words of wisdom must find resonate in those entrusted with the responsibilities of power and authority on behalf of the working class and the poor.
Public Office should not be used as cartel for one’s material rewards and influence, but should be about tackling the real problems of poverty, service delivery, joblessness and underdevelopment for the benefit of the poor.
We should be weary that our revolution is not bound to degenerate in the same manner other marvelous revolutions in Africa degenerated.
Our two neighbors Zimbabwe and Angola are classic examples where the ruling oligarchy used their positions of power and authority to amass or loot resources for their own greediness and self-centred interests.
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Numsa Press Release