The unions say workers at SAA cannot be blamed for state capture and incompetent and/or criminal management. On the face of it that seems a reasonable statement worthy of sympathy, except on reflection the only response is “join the club”.

That club consists of every taxpayer who pays too much tax, every consumer who pays too much VAT, every investor whose assets have been devalued, every business owner whose income has declined and every retrenched person whose employer could not hold onto them in this moribund economy.

None of these groups  can be “blamed”, but they are all paying the price, so unfortunately employees of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), who have at least enjoyed years of above-inflation increases by virtue of their unions and a management that took the easy way out with other people’s money, will now have to also pay the price, whether they can be blamed or not.

The only groups that have not paid the price are those that are actually to blame: the government-minister enablers, SOE boards and executives, and the thieves and tenderpreneurs who looted the state.

Sydney Kaye
Cape Town

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