Moswaane comes alive to the living wage debate

11 Feb 2019

The outspoken ruling party Member of Parliament for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane has joined ranks with the opposition parties rekindling the debate over the living wage.

The legislator insisted the introduction of the measure was necessary and overdue to cushion public service employees’ bargaining power long eroded since the world economic meltdown.

Over a decade since the dramatic global economic recession of 2008, public service employees have not seen meaningful increment of salaries with the looming anticipated surge of their remunerations a positive move the legislator said.

“The anticipated increase of public servants salaries comes at an opportune time and for such a move we congratulate the Minister and the Government. For such a long time following the 2008 recession the public employees have not known increment of salaries,” reminisced Moswaane, insisting the situation has been “glaringly pathetic” for the public servants.

He however hastened to add: “The pyramid arrangement however needs to be looked into especially for the low income public service earners who earn a paltry P1, 000 a month,” he argued putting the increment at a meager P100 for the anticipated 10 percent increase.

The increment will serve a positive purpose for the super scale individuals alongside their middle income earners, calling for the introduction of a living wage.

“The introduction of a living wage is thus the answer and crucial in these hard economic times to put a smile on the face of public servants whose salaries have been stagnant for all these years to repel the erosion of their purchasing power,” Moswaane said echoing a salary increment for the low civil servants at P3, 000- a long time signature call by opposition parties.

The outspoken ruling party legislator was responding to the 2019/20 budget speech Thursday.

During the previous parliamentary session, the eccentric Moswaane would join hands in throwing away a motion moved by the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change MP Shaun Ntlhaile calling for the introduction of the same measure with fellow ruling party legislators numerically strong in Parliament that notwithstanding.

Contributing to the budget speech Wednesday the leader of the opposition Duma Boko himself reiterated his party’s long held stance, calling for a living wage perk of P3, 000.

“Neighbouring countries with little independence credentials such as South Africa and Namibia far outclass us in this regard having introduced a living wage for their citizens,” he said.

Presenting his budget speech on Monday for the year 2019/20 the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo did not bother to make mention of the issue instead insisting: “Madam Speaker, this Government is fully aware of the effects of inflation in eroding individuals’ disposable incomes. With respect to Civil Servants, negotiations are ongoing between Government and Public Sector Unions. I have been advised that while negotiations are ongoing, I cannot, on behalf of Government make any announcement as to what the Government has determined to be an appropriate salary increase for Civil Servants in 2019/2020.

“I trust however, that an agreement between the negotiating parties will be reached soon to enable the Government to effect payment without delay,” Matambo concluded.