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ANALYSIS:What is 4% Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) when civil servants are literally struggling and living poverty?.

Thursday, 4th July, 2024

It is important to contextualize and put the issue of the four percent(4%) Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) into proper perspective before captured journalists mislead the masses and portray the Tinkhundla oppressive regime as a life saver to the plight of the financially struggling civil servants.

It is important to remind journalists that all of us did mathematics in school and therefore, we have a duty to simplify information and give members of the public accurate information not propaganda.

Mathematics was introduced at primary education level so that we can calculate, give meaning to numbers and how those numbers impact our lives.

The truth is; 4% is an insult to the financially struggling civil servants and as the media, we have an obligation to be the voice of these Government workers and put pressure for a salary review not this useless 4%.

It should noted that,the 4% suggests that,a civil servant who earns ten thousand Rands(R10,000.00) before deductions will have his/her salary increased with only four hundred Rands(R400.00) and this amount is also subject to taxation,it’s even worse for civil servants who earn less than R10,000.00.

Now,with the ever escalating costs of basic commodities that include rice,mealie-meal, sugar and cooking oil,this means Government has awarded civil servants a 10kilograms(kg) rice maybe, with a two(2) litre cooking oil.

Any captured journalist or editor who writes articles or headlines trying to portray this nonsensical 4% awarded by Government as a Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) as a life saving decision, is not worthy to be even called a journalist.

It is important to state that,journalism is not for fools but intelligent individuals who analyze issues objectively and capacitate the minds of the people so that they can make informed decisions regarding issues affecting their welfare.

An objective journalist could have analyzed the Monetary Policy Statement of the Central Bank Governor Phil Mnisi and other relevant documents articulating issues of inflation and then come-up with an informed conclusion whether the 4% will achieve the desired results.

Indeed,it is of paramount importance to first understand the objective behind a Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA), this money is meant to enhance civil servants’ salaries so that, their standard of living could not be affected by inflation.

Therefore,no sane journalist can, through the figment of his/her own imagination conclude that, a mere 4% that is far below inflation is worth celebrating unless that journalist is naturally stupid of course, with no ability to think and analyze issues objectively.

Civil servants are literally struggling in this country and as the media,we should be prioritizing this issue and use journalism to make their lives better, there’s no way civil servants could celebrate a 4% Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) that is worth a bag of rice and two(2) litre cooking oil.

But in all this, I don’t blame the trade unions,they are trying their best but this Tinkhundla Government whose political agenda is to see the people living in poverty, is not prioritizing the lives of its own civil servants.

The media,as the fourth eState and one of the most powerful institutions with the ability to change the lives of the people must, at all times,act in the public interest.

In this regard and subsequent to the signing of the 4% Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA),Government is urgently urged to review salaries for civil servants. 

Reviewing salaries for civil servants will not only benefit the civil servants but the entire 1.2million population through economic growth, once we improve and strengthen the financial stability for civil servants,we will automatically improve the buying power.

Subsequently,businesses within the Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) will strive because financial stability among civil servants would mean,we have a working class that affords to buy and support businesses and those businesses will then import goods, pay tax and improve the economy while enhancing social development.

It is for these reasons I have a problem with journalists who think a Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) or a salary review for civil servants is about the workers while disregarding the negative impact of this nonsensical 4% to the  economy of this country.

Journalism is not for fools, as the media let us report in a manner that is independent,objective and fair while seeking to improve the lives of the people without legitimizing oppressive decisions.

ANALYSIS:What is 4% Cost of Living Adjustment(COLA) when civil servants are literally struggling and living poverty?.
PS Sipho Tsabedze signing the 4%.