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MBABANE – Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) Secretary General Vincent Ncongwane said it was nice to be a minister as that appeared to be a licence to say anything that takes your fancy no matter how far it sails from the truth.

Ncongwane said he was very hurt to learn that Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Gideon Dlamini said the retrenched Tex Ray textile firm workers should have shed tears at the doorstep of their trade union offices.
He said the minister’s comments are like someone who either is not aware of the ILO Report dated March 26, 2014 which recommended to government how to deal with the issues of the benchmarks.

He cited that the report, in its last page, states the following recommendation; “Government should give serious consideration, bearing in mind certain priority matters, to the following recommendations:

1) To follow a fast tracked process to facilitate the adoption of amendments to the legislation, if necessary, for the registration of the worker and employer federations by end of April 2014 and to see to their immediate registration immediately thereafter and in time for the International Labour Conference in June 2014; and

2) To consult with the social partners and the ILO Pretoria office to draw up a timetable by the end of April 2014 for the finalisation of all other outstanding matters.


“It is inconceivable how anyone who read these recommendations can then comment as the minister is alleged to have done, when he remarkably fails to explain how government failed to do the things that are called for here all these months right up until the country was removed from the AGOA eligibility on the 27th June 2014,” said Ncongwane. He said as TUCOSWA, they urged government to do all it can now to meet the benchmarks and less untruths being told the public. Ncongwane highlighted that they would not tire to correct the untrue impressions that those in leadership give on this matter and about TUCOSWA. He said the less said about the government spokesperson on this matter, the better.

“As the proposed amendments are being dealt with by Parliament, we are appreciative of that, even as we monitor that they must be ILO compliant and further request that government also puts effort in dealing with the other benchmarks. We hope that with this, we will not have another minister or the government spokesperson misleading the public,” said Ncongwane.

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