Monday, October 26, 2009

Vavi Slams Extravagant Spending in Public Service

Vavi slams extravagant spending in public service


Far more has to be done to rid the country of corruption, Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said on Monday, citing the purchase of flashy cars and extravagant hotel stays by officials as examples.

"Measures are being taken to curb corruption, though far more has to be done in this [area] to rid the country, and in particular the public service, of this culture of self-enrichment," Vavi said in an address prepared for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of African Communists.

"Even among some of our own cadres the view that those in public office have the right to R1-million cars and weeks in top five-star hotels has become deeply ingrained, and it has to be fought with every weapon at our disposal," he said.

Vavi criticised public servants who saw themselves as entitled to the "same sort of obscene perks" as those in business.

"We will never curb the greed of the capitalists if our own leaders follow the same path and adopt their greedy morality of 'me first'."

He said the recent service delivery protests were rooted in legitimate grievances about poor service, but were also a "revolt" against those they elected to serve them.

"... They are just as much a revolt against people they elected to serve them as councillors and mayors, but who move out of the community, live a life of affluence at the people's expense and do little to help those they have left behind.

"We must ensure that the elected officials and the state bureaucracy continues to become more responsive and accountable to the masses ... and that our alliance organisations are treated as the legitimate voice of our communities, not as one more in a queue of special interests," he said.

He admitted that there were also councillors and mayors who did "wonderful work" in their communities.

Vavi cited the economic recession, labour brokering, a threat to ban the unionisation of the army and corruption as the main challenges facing the national democratic revolution. -- Sapa

Source: Mail & Guardian Online
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