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KING’S SPEECH LEAVES PSAS DISAPPOINTED

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MBABANE – Disappointed!

The above word perfectly describes the feeling of public sector unions (PSAs) following that the Speech from the Throne delivered on Friday by His Majesty King Mswati III did not meet their expectations. With the PSAs currently at loggerheads with government over the cost-of-living adjustment (CoLA), and other issues related to their welfare, the expectation was that the speech would bring good news to them. The PSAs are: the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT), the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU), National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) and Swaziland National Association of Government Accounting Personnel (SNAGAP).

When delivering the Speech from The Throne last Friday, His Majesty King Mswati III emphasised on how hard decisions would have to be taken as a means of ensuring that the country’s economy recovered.  He mentioned that there was a need to take very stiff measures and concerted efforts to curtail expenditure, while vigorously exploring avenues through which government revenue could be enhanced. The head of State noted that job creation was one of the challenges faced by the country together with unemployment, poverty, sustainable economic development, provision of quality health services, education and social welfare for the whole nation. He emphasied that government remained committed to job creation.

Elderly

In summary, the speech touched on climate change, HIV and AIDS, elderly people, international relations, ICT development, agro-processing and boosting tourism. There was nowhere where civil servants were mentioned. In an interview with SNAT Secretary General Sikelela Dlamini, he first spoke in jest, saying he was not sure whether the issue of their welfare was omitted by the media in their reports or that it was just not included in the Speech from The Throne. Dlamini said if indeed it was not mentioned during the official opening of Parliament, then it was unfortunate.


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