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Pholile Shakantu, a multi-billionaire Minister who approved Gazettes authorizing employers to pay workers a mere E1.100.00 per month.

Tuesday, 22nd June, 2021

When Pholile Dlamini-Shakantu approved the various Government Gazettes authorising employers to pay workers as little as E1,100.00 per month it became clear that Government wants to see Swazis languishing in poverty.

It is for these reasons Swazis must speed-up the process of removing this Government from power and usher the country into a new democratic dispensation.

The political hypocrisy suggesting that these are just minimum wages and employers can pay more remains an insult to the workers in this country, some who are paid far below the Government Gazettes. The truth of the matter is, a business is about profits and some generate same by turning employees into cheap labour, no sane Government can place the welfare of workers and or payment of decent salaries at the mercy of employers instead of developing a legal framework that promotes a conducive environment for workers. 

Employers cannot be easily taken to court by employees who can’t afford a decent meal not mention services of an attorney and this means employers will continue violating the rights of these  employees with impunity knowing that they don't have the financial muscle to take legal action against them.  

It is for these reasons today, we have Swazis who are struggling after they were kicked out by employers without terminal benefits, the Tinkhundla Government is promoting this through these oppressive Government Gazettes.

As mentioned, this Government must be removed from power as a matter of urgency because it doesn’t represents the interests of the people but it’s a corrupt regime whose mission is to collect everything from the pockets of Swazis, some of these investors are exploiting workers because they are presenting millions to Mswati as tetfulo (gifts).

It’s surprising that a whole Cabinet Minister in Pholile Shakantu with various business interests across the country can approve or release Government Gazettes that stipulate how employees in this country should be remunerated, as a learned friend, she ought to have known that this amounts to conflict of interests and or corruption.

Indeed, one of the definitions of corruption is abuse of power for dishonest gain, you can’t sit in a chair in your capacity as a Cabinet Minister, announce such low wages for employees and subsequently go on to benefit from your decision at business level.

When I was doing a journalism internship at AmaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism in South Africa, my Supervisor Adrew Forest once said “Martin, you must always be vigilant, where business and politics meet, there is corruption”.

Now, here is an Acting Labour Minister whose Government claims be to taking care of Swazis by approving low wages and will in return benefit together with her relative King Mswati, husband Michello Shakantu, the multi-billionaire Inyatsi Director and other allies by generating more profits while citizens languish in poverty.

We are living in a country where the powerful yield power to the vulnerable and exploit them with impunity because Government created an environment where those who are oppressed cannot seek justice as a result of  financially oppressive the Gazettes allow the employers to pay low salaries.

It is becoming a high mountain to climb for the poor Swazis to take employers to court, Labour offices or the Concilliation Mediation and Abirtration Commission(CMAC) because the whole system promotes the exploitation of workers and some employers always brag that even if they could be taken to court, the case would take years to conclude such that the employee might die without receiving benefits.

What is happening to the citizens of this country is very unfortunate, we hope the process of removing this corrupt government will be concluded speedily by the people, there’s no future under this regime.

One of the oppressive weapons of this Government is to force ordinary citizens into poverty to induce political submissions, even those who are employed are poor and broke not because they can’t handle finances but the government long established a system meant to grab everything from their pockets. As I write this article, I am struggling to understand how Government expects a person with a family and other dependents to survive with a mere E1,100.00 per month? 

In conclusion, it is important to emphasise that citizens are now in the middle of the sea sinking while raising their hands seeking assistance. On the right hand, there’s a democratic government that wants to rescue them and on the left hand, there’s King Mswati’s Tinkhundla regime pushing them deeper into the sea while shouting the now expired propaganda "The King cares for you". We hope Swazis will choose life.

Pholile Shakantu, a multi-billionaire Minister who approved Gazettes authorizing employers to pay workers a mere E1.100.00 per month.
Acting Labour Minister Pholile Dlamini-Shakantu(pic: GOV)