A woman carries a food parcel at a food distribution by Meals on Wheels in Brapkan, Ekurhuleni. Picture: Michele Spatari / AFP
A woman carries a food parcel at a food distribution by Meals on Wheels in Brapkan, Ekurhuleni. Picture: Michele Spatari / AFP

The National Income Dynamics Study: Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (Nids-Cram) on the devastating effects of Covid-19 on SA unemployment (Cover Story, July 16-22) makes for shocking but not totally unexpected reading.

Three-million South Africans lost their jobs between February and April, with 1.5-million more losing their income through being furloughed. Job losses were concentrated among women (2-million of the jobs lost). Almost half of all survey respondents (47%) reported that they ran out of money to buy food in April.

Far more outrageous is the fact that over the same period, not a single politician or public sector worker — municipal or national government — lost their job. Public servants have received full pay throughout the lockdown and many are also expecting their annual "performance" bonuses. They’re also in line for a budgeted annual increase of between 4.5% and 6.9% — all to come out of our rates and taxes.

It’s not just ANC politicians who are looking after themselves. Even the DA-controlled City of Cape Town has awarded itself the maximum increase allowable this year. Meanwhile, the jobs bloodbath continues apace.

We voted this lot into office. Why do we allow them to stay there, when they treat us with such disdain? How can they even begin to empathise with the plight of millions of voters, when their monthly income is assured and their collective snouts are so deep in the trough?

Mark Lowe
Durban

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