Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
There are obvious lessons to be learnt from the public service strike that has just ended. But it seems that unions have more to learn than the government.
Given the explanation by the government on the offer tabled during the negotiation, clearly this was well thought out and it was a good offer.
With the noise of the unions, especially Cosatu, there was ignorance on the part of the masses of people who daily marched throughout the country.
The only thing that the people knew was that the unions demanded 12percent and that the government was offering 6percent. They had no knowledge about the benefits and explanations that the government had put on the table.
It is doubtful if the strike would have been so bad if the reality was explained to the strikers. The lack of information was either a direct strategy by the unions, especially Cosatu, to discredit the ANC and achieve its political objective on the party's leadership or just incapacity. Something smells bad though. Innocent people were used against their government.
The 6percent offer was not at all bad. The other issues that were linked to government's offer, like retaining skills and so on, should have been discussed separately, because they were not the reason for the massive strike. Next time the unions must engage their membership with all relevant information.
Loyiso Phantshwa, Johannesburg