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image Some Members of Parliament. (File pic)

MBABANE – The Prime Minister, Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, says politicians should hold their horses as regards the 17 per cent salary increment that has almost been successfully negotiated between government and public sector unions.

The precedent has been that every time civil servants received any increment or benefit, politicians would also be recipients of whatever benefits that were successfully put in place, such as the cost of living adjustment, which was paid out across the board at 4.6 per cent last year. 

Through a brief questionnaire sent to the PM yesterday, it was enquired from the head of government if politicians would also benefit from the 17 per cent raise.
In response, Dlamini said; “Kwanyalo sikhuluma ngema civil servants,” which is loosely translated to mean, ‘For now we are only focusing on the civil servants’.    The PM added though that normally Cabinet and Emabandla (committees appointed by the King) were pegged to senior civil servants, however, he was not specific on whether they would be paid the 17 per cent increment which senior civil servants, such as principal secretaries, will be getting at the end of the month should the signing of the agreement go as planned today. The PSs are currently on Grade F3 and currently earn E38 212 and the increment will see them earning about E45 000.

  Politicians include Cabinet, Parliamentarians, Emabandla, which include among others, Liqoqo, Ludzidzini Council, Border Restoration Committee (BRC) and others. Others that could be affected are Regional Administrators, Tindvuna Tetinkhundla and Bucopho.               
Lobamba Lomdzala Member of Parliament (MP) Marwick Khumalo, who is one of the longest serving MPs as he is in his fourth term in Parliament, said it was always automatic that once the civil servants received an increment, then politicians would also benefit.

However, he was specific that he was not sure of what would happen this time around.      
Government Spokesperson Percy Simelane, when contacted, had also first stated that history had recorded that this was the trend should civil servants get an increment.
However, Simelane later called and said he had been able to get in touch with Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service Evart Madlopha, who had said at the moment, the matter was only between the Government Negotiation Team (GNT).
“Madlopha has said that for now it was a matter of those who were at the negotiating table,” said Simelane.
He said for now, the politicians getting any increment was ‘a story for another day’.

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