While most of us expect a 5% or no increase in salary this year …

Posted by Talitha Hlaka on May 12, 2017 1:00 PM SAST

Sunday, February 26 dawned, and no surprise for us South Africans. The Sunday Times headlines exposed yet another corruption debacle at a state-owned enterprise. Collins Letsoalo, acting CEO negotiated, demanded and pressurised officials at PRASA (Passenger Rail Authority of South Africa) to pay him a salary the previous disgraced CEO earned – a cool R3,5 million a year. An increase of 350%! Oh yes, and just in case that was not enough – throw in a personal chauffeur for him as well. 

Tired, beaten and disillusioned, we the people, shake our heads and turn the page. Will he be prosecuted or even disciplined? If similar incidences and stories in recent and not-so-recent times are anything to go by, probably not. As I write this, I am heartened to report that the PRASA Board has stated that the increase was unauthorised and he has been dismissed. Yay! But, I fear our rejoicing will be short-lived. How long will it be before this catastrophe is forgotten and the illegal actions, instead of being punished, will be rewarded by him being appointed to a new lofty position, that we as taxpayers will fund?

Disgraced Brian Molefe, implicated in the damning State of Capture Report resigned as CEO from ESKOM. He did not apologise. Instead, claiming he was resigning because it was in the interests of ‘good governance.’ Great! Marvellous! That’s done, now let’s move on. He has been sworn in as a member of parliament, and we hear rumours of him being moved to an even higher position of either Deputy Minister or Minister of Finance in the near future. Esteemed Minister Pravin Gordhan is expected to be removed, or at the very least, redeployed in the next cabinet reshuffle. He is seen, by ordinary citizens, as the last vestige of hope in a truly rotten government. Minister Gordhan does not serve the ruling party’s greed by holding onto the treasury purse-strings, and not allowing it to be looted. Zuma and his cronies, are interested only in lining their own pockets while the poor are left reeling under the disastrous economy which has seen the cost of basic essentials rise astronomically.

How does the man in the street survive? This is not a question leaders are interested in answering. They could not care. Elected to power to serve the people, they immediately forget their promises and obligations of upholding the South African constitution. Maybe that is too much of an ask, as it is the responsibility of every South African. May I request though, that you, Mr and Mrs Public Servant, just do your job – that which you have been appointed to and that for which you are being handsomely paid? Is that too much of an ask? As an employee myself, I think not. I am not expecting anything more from you than I, and millions of other South Africans do daily.

We, the people are ashamed and quite frankly, fed up with the antics we witness in parliament, state-owned enterprises and other esteemed institutions that are being eroded. At this rate, what legacy will we leave future generations? A failed state, an obliterated economy, destroyed infrastructure and hopelessness? If the ANC continues to refuse to listen to the people, this will all that will be left.    

South Africans cannot expect the current government to halt this slide into detritus. Unfortunately, they have failed us. It is up to us, as individuals and passionate citizens of this once great country to rise up and shout, ‘No more!’ Join our platforms – Corruption Watch, A Better Africa and Joburg City Network, to collaborate with like-minded citizens. Believe that collectively we can make a difference, and use the online tools to further the cause that is close to all our hearts, minds and pockets.

Raashida Khan is first and foremost a passionate South African and Account Director at Indigo New Media.

Corruption Watch Connected is digital collaboration community of corruption fighters all over the world.

A Better Africa is a smart digital space for collaboration around education, social change, knowledge sharing and data assimilation.

Joburg City Network is a digital community building a connected, shareable and more resilient city using online tools and collaboration as catalysts for change and development.

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