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MBABANE – The Holy Book says “do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain, and the worker deserves his pay.”

This portion of scripture could be relevant to what is currently obtaining at the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) where managers and officers who did not join the one-month strike by workers over salary increments are now reaping the fruits for what has been termed as ‘responsibility allowance’.

Sources in the know told the Times SUNDAY that managers received an average of E11 000 while officers received around E5 500 for extra effort exhibited with delight and determination during the strike.

One worker who was expected to get the money was over the moon, explaining in detail that they deserved it because they worked extremely hard for it when other officers were dancing and demonstrating.
“We are happy that the employer has recognised our efforts and it shows that the employer really does care,” one joyful employee said while he walked to the bank smilingly.

“Kumnandzi mani kubhadalwa (it’s a nice experience to get paid).”
SRA workers went on strike to force management to accede to a 13.3 per cent salary increment.
They had already taken a pay rise of 6.8 per cent, which, was fixed by government for all its enterprises.
The SRA workers wanted an additional 6.5 per cent to total up to 13.3 per cent. Management vehemently refused to give them this amount of money as that was to be in violation of a central government’s resolution on the matter.

The strike affected border gates but management and some officers came to the rescue, hence they have been remunerated for what has been termed as taking responsibility during the marathon strike.

The money, as a matter of fact, is for working extra hours and it is not a compensation for not joining the strike.

In a memorandum in possession of the Times SUNDAY, Dumsani Masilela, the Commissioner-General, extended the SRA’s gratitude to the team that worked overtime during the strike action, pointing out in categorical terms that their determination, hard work and responsibility went above the call of duty.

“We would like to extend the organisation’s deepest gratitude to the team participating in the Contingency Plan for the commitment they have displayed so far,” said Masilela, the Commissioner-General and former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Finance.

He summed it up with a juicy phrase: “Let us state unequivocally that what you have done goes beyond the call of duty and it deserves recognition.”


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