BRYAN ROSTRON: SAA workers bear the brunt while corrupt bosses fly high
If the national airline goes bust is it really the fault of workers rather than former SAA chair Dudu Myeni and Jacob Zuma?
The euphoria of winning the Rugby World Cup has been rapidly replaced by a different competition. In our regular bipolar fashion much of the public mood has swung back to deep gloom over the state of the economy, markedly with the strike at the national airline. The result is yet another blame game, so it’s worth recalling the chorus of the old rugby song: “It’s the same the whole world over/It’s the rich what gets the pleasure/It’s the poor what gets the blame.”
Adapted from a 19th-century English musical hall ditty (“She was poor, but she was honest”), it reflects a fairly universal injustice. But in 21st-century SA, one of the most unequal societies in the world, it must be particularly galling for low-paid workers to be lectured by highly paid executives and mainstream economists about a lack of patriotic feeling and union greed. The mess at SAA has been caused by years of chronic mismanagement and the by now standard board-level looting.