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MBABANE – It was a window dressing exercise.

This line best describes civil servants’ reaction to government suspending Circular No.3 of 2019. Public sector associations (PSAs) are frowning upon the move by government to suspend the implementation of the circular no. 3 which was somehow a cost-cutting measure as it slashed politicians’ hefty allowances.


The circular, which was supposed to come to effect on October 1, 2019, cut Constituency Allowances for senators as the argument was that they didn’t have constituencies like elected Members of Parliament (MPs) and it introduced what was termed an Inkhundla Outreach Allowance, which would have been strictly for elected MPs, Indvuna Yenkhundla and Bucopho. It also recommended that legislators should contribute to their medical aid. Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Secretary General Sikelela Dlamini frowned upon the latest developments. He said the new circular was a window dressing exercise which was not done in good faith. Dlamini thanked government’s honesty in that the economic situation has ‘normalised’ and it can now afford to fund heft allowances.

He said this meant that civil servants would now rightfully get the cost-of-living adjustment as government’s body language suggested that there was money in its coffers. “Reverting to Circular No. 2 means that government has no grounds to deny civil servants the cost-of-living adjustment because their body language suggests that the fiscal crisis is a thing of the past and government has resuscitated the economy to the point that they can afford to pay hefty allowances through the circular,” he said.


Dlamini said another indicator that government had the money was its preparedness to spend in toilets that cost E78 million in the construction of the International Convention Centre and the Five Star Hotel (ICC and FISH) as reported recently.National Public Service and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) Secretary General Thulani Hlatshwayo said Circular No. 3 was nothing but a hoax and government was buying the public’s eye, making the unions to be irresponsible yet they (unions) were fighting for what was due to them.

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