SNAT gives E15m to teachers
MANZINI – The SNAT Cooperative will spend approximately E15 million dishing out loans to teachers affected by the no work no pay rule amidst the long dragging strike over salary increment.
Negotiations between the SNAT National Executive Council (NEC) and the SNAT Cooperative yielded positive results for the teachers who were complaining bitterly that they had been impoverished by the strike.
Secretary General of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT), Muzi Mhlanga said the striking teachers would get a E2 000 loan each from the cooperative.
The oooperative has over 7 500 members.
Rough calculations by this newspaper found that the cooperative would part with about E15 million.
Mhlanga told about 400 striking teachers from the Manzini region that a decision was taken to engage the SNAT Cooperative and ask them to come to the rescue.
There was a thunderous applause during the meeting at the SNAT Centre when Mhlanga broke the news yesterday.
The Secretary General said the decision was borne out of passionate pleas by members who said something must be done to cushion them from the no-work-no-pay rule.
He said the money would attract a 4.5 per cent interest.
The loan will be repaid over a period of six months.
Mhlanga said the E2 000 would be paid out over two months, meaning each teacher could access E1 000 per month.
Teachers were concerned that those who were not members of the cooperative would be left out yet they were also partners in the long dragging strike for a 4.5 per cent salary increment.
However, Mhlanga said the teachers need not worry as SNAT also had something in store for those who were not members of the cooperative.
"I must emphasise that the cooperative will only give out the E2 000 loans to members because it would be difficult to recover this money from non-members," he said.
He also said SNAT was aware that some teachers were neck deep in debt even before the strike, which may make things difficult for them to qualify for loans.
Mhlanga said these teachers also need not worry as an alternative would be devised for them.
Mhlanga, in a later interview, confirmed that the talks between the association and the cooperative were a success but said other details would be released in due course.
Several teachers used the social networking site, Facebook, to mourn the 33 per cent deductions from their salaries as government implemented the no-work-no-pay rule.
... teachers appeal for revival of strike fund
MANZINI – Teachers within the Manzini branch of SNAT have appealed to their national executive to revive the strike fund which was established to cushion members during strikes.
In a meeting at the SNAT Centre, the teachers said the fund last operated in 1997 when it gave out E300 to each of the teachers who had engaged in a strike.
"I do not recall a meeting where it was resolved that the fund should cease to operate. If it was still on, we would not be complaining about the no-work-no-pay today because the fund could have generated a lot of money," said a teacher.
Muzi Mhlanga, the Secretary General of SNAT said in future, insurance would be made for teachers so that they could engage on a strike action even if it lasted for five months without feeling the pinch.
Bennett takes potshots at SNAT exec
PIGG’S PEAK – Walter Bennett yesterday attacked the executive of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) calling them opportunists.
The Mbabane based businessman and former Senator said the executive was to blame for the ongoing strikes.
The association has been on strike demanding that government increase salaries by 4.5 per cent.
Bennett said this during a farewell function of four retired principals which was held at Maguga Lodge yesterday. The function was organised by the Swaziland Principals Association (SWAPA).
The retired principals are Turner Lukhele who was heading Peak Central High School, Joseph Malambe from Ntsinini High School, Joseph Ceko from St Peregrines Primary School and Merry Khumalo from Nkamanzi Primary School.
"We started experiencing these strikes from the time the present executive came into office," alleged Bennett.
He alleged that the leaders of SNAT are opportunists who wanted to use the teachers to further their hidden agendas. He alleged that the executive was paid double as they were remunerated for holding office in the executive and also for being teachers.
He said the court issued an order declaring the strike illegal but the teachers defied the order.
Bennett said the teachers should have appealed against the court decision, without engaging in an illegal strike action.
"It’s sad to see teachers losing focus under the leadership of the current president," said Bennett. He said even though the strikes were taking place they would not oust the leadership of the country.
Bennett said SNAT would face resistance, if it had ulterior motives. He said the nation won’t let SNAT members do as they pleased in the country.
"A person cannot be allowed to come with pork in a Zion church even though its food. Also take note that it doesn’t mean that donkeys are Christians because they have cross marks on their backs," said Bennett.
He said the country belonged to the King.
Bennett blames Advisory Councils, MPs
PIGG’S PEAK – Walter Bennett blamed the King’s Advisory Councils and Members of Parliament (MPs) for not providing solutions for the ongoing strike actions in the country.
"The Prime Minister is left alone to deal with the strikes and he does not get backup from the King’s Advisory Councils and Members of Parliament," said Bennett. He said the Councils were supposed to assist the Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini in dealing with such problems.
"When the members of the Advisory are asked what should be done about the ongoing strikes they say they don’t know," alleged the businessman.
Bennett said the King declared the Tinkhundla system of governance as the best but it needs some fine-tuning and the MPs were doing nothing about that. "It’s even difficult to raise concerns to the Members of Parliament about the Value Added Tax (VAT) because they have personal interests as most of them are running businesses," he claimed.
He said everyone had to contribute in calming the current wave of strike actions because Swazis have one Swaziland.
SNAT must be appluaded for helping out the teachers. The suffering of you people will not be in vain. Martin Luther King Jr said "when it is dark enough can you see the stars". Our children have suffered a great loss but we support your cause. As for Walter Benett, I think the old man is missing the point here. Benett please stop barking up the wrong tree becuase we all know who is responsible for this mess.
Jul 26, 2012, 7:02 AM, Banele (email@example.com)
He also does not provide any solution! he is living in the past, people are pooped with the system that benefits the chosen few like him self . He blames every body! like bums everybody has an opinion.
Jul 26, 2012, 7:02 AM, thulani (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Do not blame civil servants. Cause of the strike: lack of cost of living adjustment for three years. Why? Some in Government are GREEDY and has no regard for dissening opinions: only has money for herself, royalty and security forces, not civil servants. No other reason!
Jul 26, 2012, 7:02 AM, Vincent (email@example.com)
Bennet must shut up, while he was in parliament he failed us as citizens of the country. This is cowardness at it best. Secondly no one owns this country because if it was like that ngabe alikho lelive. This country belongs to the citizens of Swaziland because this person Bennet is refering to that he owns the country akasisiti ngalutfo, namanje emaSwati alambile kute lokwintiwako. Bantfu abasiyeke we have no leaders, masses are leading themselves from now onwards, no one must proclaim himself as leader. I thank you
Jul 26, 2012, 7:02 AM, vusumuzi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Point of correction Bennett Swaziland belongs to ALL SWAZIs not one man!!!!
Jul 26, 2012, 7:02 AM, Lindiwe Dlamini-Kunene (LDK.Dlamini@gmail.com)
SNAT did a great job with no help because teachers cannot get back to class even if they have money.govermnent should give them what they want cause we students are suffering the most.
Jul 26, 2012, 7:02 AM, termite (email@example.com)
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